LOOP Barcelona 2021
November 16 – 18, 2021
Ode to the Taipei Biennial (2016) by Yu Cheng-Ta
Medium: Single-channel Video, Colour, Sound
Length: 08′ 06”
For LOOP 2021, Chi-Wen Gallery will present Ode to the Taipei Biennial (2016) by Yu Cheng-Ta.
Within any biennial there always exists the dual problems of local voice and international position. It is an indispensable stage for performance, but conversely, it can also be an intractable burden. For 20 years the Taipei Biennial has strived to introduce Taiwanese contemporary art and to forge international connections. Looking back on this history and taking the 1996 Taipei Biennial as a staring point, I revise exhibition statements as lyres to be chanted in A cappella. Making reference to the structure of the six male curators of the past, I have invited six professional singers to perform in three parts – tenor, baritone and bass – in the Taipei Fine Arts Museum lobby with its rich atmosphere of modernity. A cappella was a common form of church music in the 15th and 16th centuries, and it experienced a renaissance in the 19th century. Comprised exclusively of the human voice and sung in multi-part harmonies, it is a form of music that cleanses the heart. In the video six men blend together many vocalizations and utterances based on the prescribed tempo. As the score constantly advances and the notes interweave, the pleasing harmonies within the high-ceilinged space refract the “identity of Taiwanese art” that the statements describe. As the piece concludes with two notes, what can be seen is a self-fantasy of Taiwan’s political state within the current of international trends.
About the Artist
Yu Cheng-Ta (b. 1983) currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan.
Working primarily with non-professional actors in staged performances, Yu has developed a body of work that deals with the interstitial spaces and humorous misunderstandings that arise when different languages and cultures collide.
Yu has participated in many important exhibitions, festivals and biennials, including: “Between Earth and the Sky: The Spiritual State of Our Times”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (TW, 2020); “Participation Mystique”, Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai (CN, 2020); “Durian Exercise Room”, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (KR, 2020); “FAMEME”, Performa 19 Biennial, New York (US, 2019); “Watermelon Sisters Go Camping in Paris”, Centre National de la Danse, Paris (FR, 2019); “Watermelon Love”, Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR, 2018); “Tell Me What You Want”, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (DK, 2018)/ Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR, 2018); “Tell Me What You Want – A Solo Exhibition by Yu Cheng-Ta”, Hong-gah Museum, Taipei (TW, 2017); “Polyphonies”, Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR, 2016); “Life in Between – Delight and Discomfort”, Gwangju City Museum of Art, Gwangju (KR, 2016); “Declaration/ Documentation”, Taipei Biennial, Taipei (TW, 2016); “To the Sound of the Closing Door”, Forum Expanded at The 65th Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin (DE, 2015); “Social Factory”, The 10th Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai (CN, 2015); “Practicing LIVE”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (TW, 2014); The 2nd CAFA Biennial, Beijing (CN, 2014); Solo Exhibition “My Private Foreign Affairs”, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung (TW, 2013); “Biennial Cuvée 08”, OK Center for Contemporary Art, Linz (AT, 2012); The 53rd Venice Biennale Taiwan Pavilion, Venice (IT, 2009).
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