Shooting In The Dark
Surface Tensions 2020
Part 1: Alt-Truths, More Than Fiction
Opening: Friday 29 May 2020 – 8-11pm
14 March – 3 May 2021
Online, part of POW! Festival
‘Shooting In The Dark 白日摸瞎’ was a durational performance carried out by Jing Xie from dawn until noon in a busy market of Makou Town in Hunchuan (a city nearby Wuhan), and Qiong Zhang from dusk until dark at The City Plaza – Dongfanghong Square in Lanzhou. The artists’ heads were covered in flower pots and they blind touched their way through a busy street market and public square. Qiong touched from the sunset to the dark, while Jing touched before the dawn to sunrise.
‘Bend The Earth 扳沙’ was a durational performance carried out by Qiong Zhang in the city of Lanzhou, and Jing Xie at Makou Town under the strict lockdown restrictions of their respective hometowns in China. Consisting of two performances presented side by side, at dusk, Jing Xie jumps up and down on a mattress situated upon a large sand mound. As passerbys calmly walk past during their daily exercise, she stomps and kicks at the mattress to bury it into the sand. Qiong Zhang’s performance takes place in Lanzhou, in a newly built residential area. As cars and motorcycles pass by, she uses her hands to dig into the sand, jumping to try and get off the ground.
‘Salt The Wound 伤口撒盐’ was a durational performance carried out at the banks of two major rivers in China: The Yellow River & Yangtze River, near the artist’s hometowns. For her performance, Qiong Zhang walks along The Yellow River. As she walks adjacent to the river’s gentle flow, she uses a knife to carve a line along the river bank, marking a trail on the water’s edge. Near the embankment of the Yangtze River, Jing Xie gradually pours salt onto a wall of slowly melting ice, as boats and onlookers pass her by.
Gallery Image Credits: Stills from film by Hijack
Sunday 7 March 2021, 11am: ‘白日摸瞎 Shooting in the Dark’, Hijack [May 2020, China]
Sunday 14 March 2021, 11am: ‘扳沙 Bend the Earth’, Hijack [May 2020, China]
Sunday 21 March 2021, 11am: ‘伤口撒盐 Salt the Wound’, Hijack [May 2020, China]
ST20 Part I: ‘Alt-Truths, More than Fiction’ – Female-led Expanded Cinema is a site for experimentation & activism. Running from April – June 2020, the programme brings together five artists working in the expanded field of moving image: Hio Lam Lei, Sharon Daniel, Hijack, Jing Xie and Renèe Helèna Brown. Using the format of ‘documentaries’ and through a feminist epistemological lens, they freely and playfully juxtapose narratives, myths, archival materials and personal testimonies, using devices such as satire & fictive constructions to explore the unstable nature of perceived realities, cultural identities, structural racism, consumption, romance, and our relationships to Western nationalism.
Surface Tensions 2020 is curated by Nina Shen-Poblete and Tomas Poblete, produced by CT20.
The project is kindly supported by Arts Council England, Roger De Haan Charitable Trust and Creative Folkestone.
After ‘Shooting in the Dark’ was presented to audiences for the first time in Folkestone in May 2020, Nina (CT20’s co-director) invited the artists to share their personal perspectives on their latest performance, and the new daily realities they’ve experienced in China.