Sunday 12 January 2014

Little things mean a lot

We got everything ready just in time for the closing reception - Adrian had chosen to have a closing reception instead of the usual opening. He knew the customs of the Hsinchu people so I could only climb down. 
I had shot a video of Justin sleeping the past week. The idea was inspired by Andy Warhol's infamous five hour long film, Sleep as well as Robert Wilson's Voom Portraits that I saw in New York a few years ago. Mine of course was much shorter: only 30 minutes of sleep. The image of Justin looked like a live still portrait. I wanted it raw and dirty, as if filmed from a cheap super8 camera. Justin had no idea how the result would look like and he felt slightly silly to lie still in bed for such a long time. Little did he imagine the impact the film would have on the audience. Peaceful, serene, frozen in time and yes, erotic. Justin's splendid and quiet personality just glowed on the screen. 
I also prepared a music installation: reworking on other music installations I have done in the past years to create this subtle dream-like atmosphere. It worked splendidly. Adrian was enthusiastic and so was I. A magical beam hovered in the room and people let themselves be taken away by the mood. 
"I want to sleep when people come in!" he said to me a few days before. I brought a set of tatami from my home and arranged them at the center of the room with some chairs. The visitors responded positively to the offer and many lied down on the tatami, closing their, feeling the music, sometime watching the video projected on a whole wall. I half expected people to feel uncomfortable and unwilling to stay embrace stillness, so their reaction prompted me to push the concept further. 
The next exhibition in Taichung will provide more space to show more photos and project more videos. Adrian will exhibit his picture at a gallery located near the train station called Happen, an old bank turned into an art space. My work will be presented not far away from there, in an old club named Face Off
"The concrete wall will be perfect for your black & white photography!" Adrian said excitedly. "I will go next week with the project and your Justin video to see how it works there!"
I'm happy to team with Adrian. His child-like, innocent, almost naive approach to thing is communicative. There's no surprise that he teaches art at a kindergarten school...
The next step is to publish a series a four small books in a limlited edition before finding a publisher. Maybe I will find one before I complete the series... May as well hope!
Thierry, a Taipei based Frenchman who runs a queer art magazine as well as a foundation that helps gay art students to study abroad, has told about some printing shops in Dazhi which can make very good books for an extremely low price (unthinkable in France!!!) albeit in small quatity. He showed me a sample done for a theatre company: tasteful, simple and very attractive looking.
I will try to get the first book ready for the upcoming Taichung exhibition. Adrian, of course, wants me to edit his book. I have another idea for his work. I had bought a small photo magazine called Ossu at the Tsutaya book store in Ebisu, something between a fanzine and a magazine - a trend that has re-appeared in recent years for art publications. The format would be perfect for Adrian's pictures.
A new adventure inDesign begins. I have to get reacquainted with that software now... Two weeks left!

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