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Performa 07 Live
Here's your chance to read comments, reviews and ideas arising out of this year's Biennial posted by specially commissioned writers, critics and theorists. The Writing Live Fellows have been generously supported by Arts Council England.

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11/08/07 05:47:42 pm
'Preview: Mahjong by He Yun Chang'

Washington Square Park

Project team 'Mahjong 2007' in the park

Preview: He Yun Chang
Washington Square
09 Nov 4-7pm
Presented by Chambers Fine Art for PERFORMA07.

I went to Judson Church on Washington South yesterday to meet He Yun Chang whilst he prepared for his performance of Mahjong, 2007. Mahjong is a traditional Chinese game that He Yun Chang will perform with various audience members in nearby Washington Square Park on the 9th November. The performance of Mahjong itself has nothing to do with the church, but the tiles that He Yun Chang will use for the game are large bricks, 100??™s of them, and they are all to be hand painted by the artist himself, so Judson Church kindly agreed to give Performa space in their basement for the brick storage and painting.

That the tiles for He Yun Chang??™s unique version of Mahjong are big, heavy bricks and that each one is to be painstakingly hand-painted should come as no surprise to those who know He Yun Chang??™s work. Previous projects have tested the limits of the artists??™ physical and mental endurance against insurmountable odds. Such odds have included the artist trying to move a Chinese mountain with string in Moving a Mountain, 1999, being suspended over a river whilst trying to cut water with a knife in Dialogue With Water, 1999 and more recently Touring Great Britain With Rock, 2006 in which He Yun Chang walked 2000 UK miles in 9 months whilst carrying a large rock.

Although He Yun Chang doesn??™t succeed in physically moving mountains or dividing rivers, the artist??™s persistence does prevail in incredibly moving ways that reference human struggle and the triumph of the individual over both internal, natural and external political forces.

Mahjong,2007 will be the latest in a long line of powerful, poignant and quintessentially Chinese performances by China??™s leading contemporary performance artist. Put simply, it is not to be missed.

Rachel Lois Clapham

11/04/07 12:05:25 pm
Preview: 'Stapelung (Stack)' 2007

John Bock Stapelung (Stack) 2007 at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre, Oct 28-Nov 19,

Best known for his 1990??™s spontaneous performance lectures, German born visual artist John Bock works with a wide range of different media, including sculpture, theatre, film and performance, and everything he touches takes on a dirty, low-fi, absurdly comedic feel that is distinctly Bockian.

For PERFORMA 07 Bock has installed a video sculpture, Stapelung (Stack) 2007, at PS1 Contemporary Art Centre. Stapelung (Stack) is a 5 channel video sculpture; a 5 screen video work that is also a 9 foot high steel rack supporting a messy combination of monitors, electrical wire, tape, plugs and 5 sets of audio headphones. Each monitor perched on the rack or ???stack??™ screens a different Bock film. On the top shelf is ???Meechhouse??™. Below that ???Foetusgott in Memme??™, then ???NogoJones Dandy??™ on top of ???Wuhl um die Klumpen??™ all 2002. On the bottom shelf is the 2004 ???Sechser Tragerl Sushi Aschai Periskop Guatscht Schwanerl- Wie kann man das Gobu Ten Udong massig Bekleben.

Stapelung (Stack) is an important inclusion within the PERFORMA 07 biennial; it manifests Bock??™s trademark combination of performance, sculptural construction and film whilst highlighting the artist??™s concerns with narrative, staging and props. If the German titles don??™t make sense to you, don??™t be alarmed, it??™s all part of the absurdity. To view Stapelung (Stack) is to be touched by a distinctly European tradition of artistic madness that comes directly down from Surrealism, Dada, Chaplin, Boyce, Beckett and Brecht. If you get there before November 19th step inside PSI, into Bocks mind, and be immersed in his world.

Stapelung (Stack) 2007 is co-presented by PS1 Contemporary Art Centre (a Museum of Modern Art affiliate) and PERFORMA , with support from Anton Kern Gallery.

Rachel Lois Clapham

11/02/07 03:49:21 pm
???Preview: Swiss Institute ??“ Contemporary Art??™

A spoken word exhibition and a series of spoken word retrospectives, curated by Mathieu Copeland at Swiss Institute ??“ Contemporary Art, Nov 1??“Nov 7.

Open from 12pm-12am and with a daily performance at 6pm Copeland??™s dualistic vocal and silent exhibition follows suit from Swiss Institute ??“ Contemporary Art??™s programming for PERFORMA05 24 Hour Incidental. As with the 24-hour feat, Copeland??™s spoken word exhibition leans towards the most Conceptual end of the spectrum of work presented during PERFORMA07.

Catch the daily performances at 6pm, which kicked off last night with Karl Holmqvists??™s deliciously gawky reading of a new concrete poem from Berlin-based annual publication FACEHUG. Wander in during quieter times for a personal enactment of the fleeting words that comprise the exhibition.

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