"Transcultural Transcience"
Curators: Pauline Doutreluingne and Petra Poelzl (Karma Ltd. Extended)
Artist and Choreographer: Isaac Chong Wai
Dancers: Katherine Leung, Manuel Lindner, Imola Nagy, Nobutaka Shomura
Photo: Tobias Koenig


The newly commissioned durational work Rehearsal of the Futures: Is the World Your Friend? by Isaac Chong Wai questions how embodied collective memory can be reconsidered and dealt with through performance. The work is commissioned by ACUD Galerie in the exhibition Transcultural Transience curated by Pauline Doutreluingne and Petra Poelzl (Karma Ltd. Extended). By looking at large-scale gatherings, such as demonstrations the artist is investigating the role of the individual within those assemblages. What is the function of the bystander, who unexpectedly becomes part of a public demonstration?

This performance series took its beginning from politically charged images that surround and accompany the immediateness of our online personalities every day. These images are a trace of a political past, which continue reiterating themselves into the future. What if we try to slow down the speed of distribution of images on the world wide web? How can we understand, translate, capture, edit, and seek to archive these images that flicker on our screens? And yet they slip away in the invisible archives of the multinational corporations and we, once again turn into passive bystanders within a large-scale global process. Being connected to the Internet is simultaneously a transience and transcultural act, as one can momentarily extend political borders and spaces. What if we try to leave those virtual ephemeral platforms and assemblies behind and start to perform again outside of the laptop screen?


In Rehearsal of the Futures: Is the world your friend? the artist combines existing works with a series of newly developed durational performances in which he imagines how future generations might look at the current and former ideological consensus of certain body postures, gestures and movements. Isaac Chong Wai deals with these so-called ideological

movements or ideological postures in order to look for and propose possible futures. Rehearsal has always been made for the future: a rehearsal for a theater play before the curtain is opened, a rehearsal of a song before the concert starts, a rehearsal for a speech before it goes public. Rehearsing is then made for reaching the idealistic and perfect form of what one expects to show in the future, while we are not able to find a perfect form from the future to rehearse: the time has not yet come. The artist uses the word the futures, which are the possible fragments proposed in regard to the rupture of time between the past and the future as a form of reconciliation. Meanwhile, the reconciliation is enacted through performance so as to deal with the repetitive history and offers a new body movement that reconciles between body and time.


The exhibition includes two video screens installation, one painting (acrylic on canvas) 160 x 120cm, 13 pieces of drawing framed, 30 x 40cm each, a collage of paper with hand writing text which are glued during the performance.