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Mashup the Old Order with Kaleidoscopic Exhibitions and Performances: MASHUP all the CREATORS

Zuirens gathers the professional communities to hold acousto-optic activities and invites the public to join with. Photo courtesy of C-LAB
CREATORS 2018experimentContemporary ArtPerforming Art

“MASHUP,” as a verb, paints a vivid imagination ridden with audio cues and surprises. “MASHUP” can be a harmless prank that puts everything together while creating an unexpected harmony. If MASHUP all the CREATORS is bringing an unprecedented disturbance to C-LAB, where the former Air Force Command Headquarters located, what does it aim to subvert exactly?

2018 CREATORS Final Presentation

The exhibition MASHUP all the CREATORS (hereafter referred to as MASHUP) originates from 2018 CREATORS Creation/Research Support Program. The open call included individual artists and collectives for proposals in two categories, Laboratory-oriented Application and Independent Application. The proposals were expected to carry out interdisciplinary, experimental and creative projects of cultural practice. From the conception to the execution of the projects, C-LAB provided spaces and grants for the subsidized applicants to conduct a three-to-six-month residency in C-LAB for the incubation of their projects. Moreover, each selected applicant was assigned an observer to participant in discussions and produce related reports focusing on the process of the entire production and practice.

The first round of call for submissions ended with thirteen selected projects that included a variety of disciplines ranging from music, experimental sound, video, dance, circus performance, air structure and cultural studies. The creators used C-LAB as a base for cultivating and creating relations between the interior space of the historic site and the public outside. This exhibition showcases ten of these projects, including HSIEH Chieh-Ting’s Transnotators: A Research-oriented Art Project of Notation, which studies different types of “notations” and their translation; WU Meng-Hsuan’s exploration based on the body, As an Art Worker, How Do We Organize Ourselves?; HUANG Wei-Hsuan’s  The Archaeological Project of Immersive Elapsing Images and LIU Shih-Tung’s Lands—Cultural Experiment Project of Fragmented Maps, which convert personal creations into an atypical field research and explore the intertextuality among personal history, collective history and space; ET@T’s Archive or Alive: Digital Archiving Development of a Solo Dance by Liu Shou-You, which employs digital scanning technology to archive performances; Air Structure Lab—Breathing on the Island transforms the air structure from an architectural perspective; Thunar Circus’s Melancholy Mambo—A Circus Video Work of Taiwan‘s Cymbal Playing Culture and L’Enfant S. Physical Theatre’s Politics in Performance—Genet’s Le Balcon in Taiwan, which start with Taiwanese folk culture and social issues and employ video and installation to infuse a new spirit in performances; and the audiovisual activities held by The ART SHELTER and Zuirens, which draw in professional communities into C-LAB and engage the public. The exhibition MASHUP all the CREATORS features the results of the ten groups.

HUANG Wei-Hsuan, Immersive Past-image Archeology Project. Photo courtesy of C-LAB
The results of ART SHELTER. Photo courtesy of C-LAB

Looping, Uncovering, Sounding, Playing Back, Constructing

Art Space IV used to be an auditorium for military assembly. A large portion of the space retains the original layout planned for the Air Force Command Headquarters, with propagandist slogans preserved on the walls of this eight-meter-tall space. Therefore, introducing diverse issues and forms into this space, where authority has been previously emphasized, is like launching the metallic ball in a pinball machine, triggering all kinds of collisions between the creators and the seemingly indestructible Zhongzhen Hall.

“Experiment” is the core spirit and attitude upheld by C-LAB, and the imagination of cultural ecology is represented in MASHUP. Combining dynamic performances and static installations, the exhibition reconstructs the experimental residency programs to deconstruct Zhongzhen Hall. The first step is to transform the space by building a bridge extending from the main stage to the audience’s seating area, along with a symbolic “backstage.” Such configuration shatters the traditional viewing angle. As the distinction between the front stage and backstage is erased, the large, partitionless space will be reconfigured according to the needs of different performances, which will not be carried out on the stage only and thus allow the audience to freely move around, hence the blurred boundary between performers and viewers, as well as the shattered traditional order.

Air Structure Lab—Breathing on the Island. Photo courtesy of C-LAB

The exhibition MASHUP consists of five parts, including Looping, Uncovering, Sounding, Playing Back and Constructing. Looping speaks of the re-imagination of the Air Force Command Headquarters. Uncovering re-arranges ways of perceiving this site through gathering and scanning of objects. Sounding aims to relive the sound and light experiences provided by the audiovisual experiments. Constructing shatters and reconstructs the results of the residency program for reinterpretation. “Playing Back” comprises nine digital screens under the bridge to broadcast documentation of the lectures that have taken place in C-LAB during the residency program. The dynamic performances and static installations are mixed in the exhibition. When the audience are watching a certain performance, previous events are also being displayed nearby, the sight of the performances colliding with the view of the artworks. Zhongzhen Hall, consequently, becomes a likely stage for the gathering of C-LAB’s cultural ecologies. In this mutually complementing relationship, the subversive action paves the way for upcoming construction.

The ever-going experiment launched by C-LAB has been to re-establish the seemingly impossible relations for further unexpected and surprising connections. The 2018 exhibition, Re-base: When Experiments Become Attitude, explored the transformation of the Air Force Command Headquarters and adopted “experiment” as its core concept to re-envision the past and future of the site. MASHUP in 2019 encompasses dynamic performances and static installations, destabilizing the old order before deconstructing and reconstructing it in the space of Zhongzhen Hall with the kaleidoscopic presentation. The process from creation to destruction represents the making of a world; destruction is indeed always the beginning of creation.

ET@T, Archive or Alive: Digital Archiving Development of a Solo Dance by Liu Shou-You. Photo courtesy of C-LAB

Production and Recreation: Some of the Works in MASHUP all the CREATORS

The production and recreation of each work symbolize a new birth in and of C-LAB. Starting on June 14, the one-month long MASHUP occupies the solemn space of Zhongzhen Hall. Formerly the auditorium of the Air Force Command Headquarters, the space is re-purposed after cultural practices take over the site. Over the course of two years, a wide range of large-scale forums and activities have taken place here. Different spatial experiences have been created in different periods of time, encouraging the imagination about this experimental site while nurturing audiences’ new perception of Zhongzhen Hall and other historic buildings in C-LAB. On the opening day, an audiovisual performance by Zuirens’s Aka CHANG and Jez FANG officially launched the exhibition. If you would like to find out how Zhongzhen Hall has been heterogeneously reinvented, come join us in the auditorium. There will be neither flag-raising ceremonies nor any forms of preaching. All are welcome to roam freely or simply lie down, enjoying this radical mashup together.

Transnotators: A Research-oriented Art Project of Notation

2018 CREATORS Creation/Research Support Program formed a prismatic spectrum of heterogeneous projects by artists and art teams, be it in the forms of dynamic performances or static works of art. For instance, Transnotators: A Research-oriented Art Project of Notation, which might sound rather abstract, looks at music scores not only for musical performances, but also for various types of notations in life. “Transnotator” HSIEH Chieh-Ting invites musicians CHUNG Yu-Feng and Snow HUANG as well as choreographer CHENG Chieh-Wen to create new notations through translating and contrasting, re-interpreting them through music and dance. Before the performance, the “transnotators” painted an enormous musical score measured 9 meters by 9 meters between the main stage and the seating area in Zhongzhen Hall, and the audience were free to sit anywhere they liked and chose their preferred view.

HSIEH Chieh-Ting, Transnotators: A Research-oriented Art Project of Notation. Photo courtesy of C-LAB

Melancholy Mambo—A Circus Video Work of Taiwan’s Cymbal Playing Culture

Thunar Circus’s Melancholy Mambo draws its inspiration from the traditional Taiwanese cymbal rite and combines it with theatrical performance, circus juggling, and the video and images of circus. During the residency, Thunar Circus collaborated with masters from the HSU Family to perform cymbal rites in C-LAB. The space for performance formed spontaneously as the audience gathered. In the exhibition at Zhongzhen Hall, the theater troupe invites artist CHEN Chang-Chih to transform the study of traditional rituals and the performance form into video installations whereas props and symbolic objects used in the cymbal rites, such as fire rings and wooden benches, are used as vessels for small-scale video projection. Ensuing the exhibition, Melancholy Mambo will be officially performed on the plaza of the National Theater and Concert Hall in July.

Thunar Circus, Melancholy Mambo—A Circus Video Work of Taiwan’s Cymbal Playing Culture. Photo courtesy of C-LAB

Melancholy Mambo draws its inspiration from the traditional Taiwanese cymbal rite and combines it with theatrical performance, circus juggling, and the video and images of circus.

As an Art Worker, How Do We Organize Ourselves?

WU Meng-Hsuan, As an Art Worker, How Do We Organize Ourselves? Photo courtesy of C-LAB

Through her project, WU Meng-Hsuan poses the question, “as an art worker, how do we organize ourselves?” with static installations and dynamic performances. The results of the project could be presented simultaneously in the form of performance and installations. A six meters by two meters table is set in the exhibition, inviting the creator’s collaborators to drop in randomly for interaction and in turn generate new connections with the research project and Zhongzhen Hall. Therefore, people and the table evolve into a semi-static, semi-dynamic on-site sculpture. At the same time, WU will also conduct a lecture performance, during which the long table will be divided into twelve smaller tables to engage the audience to re-experience the reflection on the issues she has dealt with during the residency. Let’s find out “how we can organize ourselves as art workers” with the installations and performances.


CREATORS 2018experimentContemporary ArtPerforming Art
LIN Jun-Ye
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