Today is the performance day. I didn’t imagine much about today in purpose because I know it won’t work and it shouldn’t be needed. I just used to sink myself in the silence which I discovered if I get the chance to meet it and look for the chance patiently. There’s no effort on “showing” but all on dedicating awe and concentration on the reality that I sensed and the reality of being under people’s attention; you take their energy and lead that moment when they are being with you.
This is a small success, as I succeed in satisfying myself— I find the power in the presence again. This time, I recognize it more; this is what I want for art. I do have the will to express myself to strengthen my visible being, but what I really want is much more— I want the completion, complexity, the deepest silence, and lively natures.
Back to my performance today, people’s feedback helped me to find more about the work. A person told me he saw the scene of the battlefield at the first, then he felt the emotion of desperation. A person told me she felt strong desolation. I’m really happy to hear people have something from my work, but I was wishing someone to feel the essence of what I feel and the things that I want to show. There is some disappointment and unchangeable loss, whereas the thing I most want to propose is related to silence, as the name of this work.
Finally, a person said about silence, and he directly mentioned its strongness. “I don’t know how to say, still speechless with enormous unshaped things behind. Cuz you work is discussing something unspeakable, right? I mean in a regular way. I was struck”, he said so.
Reflecting on my work after hearing those and seeing the pictures Mowen took for me, I find the whole vision of the work. At first, I stepped into the burned books and coals. I felt pressured and was in a state of being highly interactive with the environment. I slowly moved, there were things I want to spit and movement is the way of my non-speaking speech. I was independent, as the persistence in silence, but the independence is a reaction of opposing the inseparable decay; this was not the real independence because you were still guided by the things you opposed. This might be how people felt so, and this was the silence of saying without voice, not the silence that is sitting on the train. Along with the performance, I began gradually into silence at last. I don’t know if the people who mentioned the silence will still say so if he came at the beginning.
Some other reflect
How to use your mind in art:
Finding the established relationship instead of dominating and reasoning materials as an uncourteous boss
The warm wind of the air conditioner is so good. I didn’t plan it at first until all other works in this exhibition were placed there and I found the hot wind, and it just warmed my place, making my work more powerful and revealing silence’s eternal dedicate natures. I am so glad that many people told me they felt it.
Things to improve:
the coal: In my design, I imagine the coal will be more luminous, as its alias 黑金. I should use real coal instead of charcoals.
the experiment for the final performance
Although people mentioned that I should do some experiments for the final performance like doing it in some other places, I still think it’s not that needed. Improvisation instead of a set of movements planned is an important part. People mostly didn’t think much about performance, even in contemporary art in my experience. In the simplest, one opinion about performance that I agreed with is performance is only the energy exchange within performer and audience. It’s not doing some sets of things in front of people or showing them some techniques. And improvisation is the kind of performance that involves the most awareness and is established by the presence. In my work, silence is only embodied in the world: because there is noise, we called the things besides “silence”. You can imaging this scene: In a running train, silence is sitting there; there is a kind of relationship between silence and the world. Just like in my work I lead people to see what the world is happening(my audience, the burned books) and there is something else in it but not subordinate to it. On one hand, I was curious about the whole scene of silence sitting on the train with all other passengers, on the other hand, I was curious about silence itself, who it actually is? Silence is not being voiceless, or it should be called quietness.
The design of the site can be improved, like thinking about how to differentiate with Tom’s and Harry’s performance, and how to more let people feel freer (they are so nervous facing “art”, many of them even didn’t come closer to read the notes I put. If they see the notes, they might not disregard Silence.)