Para Site is delighted to present Movements at an Exhibition, a solo show by artist and choreographer. The project is a collection of movements in an ongoing live action by a group of performers, framed within the format of an exhibition. Movements at an Exhibition paraphrases the title of the piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition by , itself an attempt to translate painting using the language of music. In this exhibition, movement is understood both as the grammar of dance and choreography and also as the metaphorical representation of social actions and protests. The exhibition derives its movements and scores from three main sources: a subjective selection of moments from a performance and dance history of Hong Kong, abstracted images of bodies in formation during various protests in the recent history of the city, and materials from the archive Altering Nativism – Sound Cultures in Post-War Taiwan, curated by . The artists, individuals, and events referenced in Movements at an Exhibition include: , a seminal exhibition organised over a weekend in 1987 in a private house in Wan Chai, Hong Kong; , amongst others.
Movements at an Exhibition aims to re-mediate and highlight some of these artistic actions and historical events by embodying them through strategies of enactment. In some cases, they are transferred to a different medium (the body) or, when the quoted references were originally bodily actions, they are produced anew, with the intention of actualising them, as well as their surrounding history. If we agree withthat one specificity of live performance is to “make us aware that meaning takes place in the present”, then this exhibition finds value and produces meaning in bringing some of these historical events in a live form in front of the audience. While Movements at an Exhibition tries to look through a formal lens to manifestations of politics, to their memory and representation, it acknowledges that this lens is itself not devoid of politics. The episodes referenced in the exhibition took place within locally specific situations, but at the same time they can all function in alliance with struggles and people who, in a way or another, stand up to power and authority. It is with this relation between local histories and international solidarities that this exhibition approaches possible performative histories in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The subjective approach and choices in this project do not claim to offer a comprehensive understanding of the history of the region, which would be expected from an art historical research exhibition. Instead, this exhibition is based on the principle of recirculating and actualising the works produced by different artists in distinct moments, affirming a collective spirit of creation. The solo show, central to the protocols of the visual art circuit, functions and is closely linked to individualisation, even when the artist tackles issues of collective concern, the commons, or political struggles. This exhibition’s intention is to challenge and undermine this structural glorification of the artist’s unique vision. While based on a predetermined structure, Movements at an Exhibition improvises in its repetitions, making the exhibition anew each day, so that the empty space of the show becomes a place of production, rather than that of mere representation.
Movements at an Exhibition is curated byThis ongoing action is performed by a team of eight professional dancers at Para Site. The sound element was realised in collaboration with artist and musician .