“Conjectural desiring” translates into the Chinese title “the non-evidential parabolic.” In Ancient Greece, ellipsis, hyperbola and parabola are identical (until 18th century). The video essays in this session are elliptical, hyperbolic and parabolic in form. Whatever is the closest analogy, they all speak of desires: like in a parabola, the object (other) is the focus, the subject (observer) is the precision line. The one who desires is the one thrown to the periphery, on the edge, and yet shoulder to shoulder with the object.
15'02" | 16:9 | 2020 | HD Original Language : English 英文 & Mandarin 國語 Subtitle : English 英文 & Traditional Chinese 繁體中文 Location : Turin, Italy 都靈，意大利 Selected category:  OBJECT LIVES / OBJECT-LOGUES 「東西自白」
Salina and Lipari are two adjacent islands in Italy.
It happened after the COVID pandemic broke out in the country. Lipari has been looking for his departed lover Salina for seven days.
This work is about life and death, and also about our souls and their connection. The cross-section of this story, which took place on the islands and the sea, manifests Carl Jung's theory on collective consciousness. In nature, are we inaccessible or linked to one another?
This film is dedicated to all who fell into loneliness in 2020.
DENG Qipeng (b. 1997) graduated from the Art School of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (GAFA) in 2017, then studied at the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts of Turin from 2018. Works involve installation, performance, painting, video, and sound. He currently lives and works in Italy.
Here’s another work of someone standing by the window of a home. (WONG Chun-hoi) And this is also another work in this batch using telling a story on a Google Map (Winnie Yan) These common features are in fact why I want such works to be collected in this issue. (WONG Chun-hoi, Winnie Yan)
There is yet another feature manifested in more than one work. Say, we put Salina and Lipari side by side with 4000 Blows. They both deal with how to cope with COVID quarantine: the latter transform banal daily postures into dance, the former construct a folk tale to express separation. (WONG Chun-hoi)
Indeed, this is an obvious angle for this round of submission. Many works could form a COVID-19 special series around the topic of loneliness and isolation. (Linda Lai)
For this very reason, I found it easier to compare the works submitted in this round. (Winnie Yan)
As for Salina and Lipari, I think it seeks to explore story-telling methods -- and the maker did via two monologues to pinpoint how to make decisions to move on with the journey. (Winnie Yan)
I always appreciate efforts put into story-telling. Someone wants to tell a story, and it is visually illustrated. Grateful. I just do not find the story intriguing enough for very high appraisal. (John Chow)
I think there is much room to improve for the two voice performances. There is even the question of accuracy. How do two people attracted to each other talk? My problem is mainly with the tone of the voices, not the technical quality of the recording. (Wong Chun Hoi) I supposed this is a common problem with voice over. Not all voices could stand up to recording. There is a kind of sensitivity required. (Winnie Yan)
The work has heavy use of Google map and personal sketches in it. (Wong Chun Hoi) Perhaps all this is a practice resulting from the quarantine? (John Chow) Perhaps there are more practical communication issues due to quarantine isolation. Especially in documentary works about a place. A name is mentioned but how do we know what it is? For example, I hear Huangpu -- but is it Shanghai? Guangzhou? Or the name of a military school? My point is: I tend to be more forgiving with the use of Google Map. At least I get to know where even if I don’t have live images to look at. At least I get some clues of a place’s relative location. (Linda Lai)
The story is about two islands and I think the attempt to justify the story is obvious. After all, I find the work’s sound design rather humorous -- for example, we learn that we go from one island to the other one by swimming. (Wong Chun Hoi)
I like this work. I could feel the maker deploying any resources around him and maximizing whatever he’s got -- and he did to tell a story that could have many different readings. You could like it, believe it, or just laugh at it. And there the work acquires its style. (Linda Lai)
In my works I like to explore the possibility of creating intimacy through art. What effect does my work have on myself? What effect does it have on the receiver(s)? For me art is a form of communication, a way to connect on an intimate level with other people. Therefore there is always room for the receiver(s) to find themselves, explore their own thoughts and associations. I believe that In order to encounter the world we must first of all encounter ourselves.
I'm curious about the darker side of human nature. In my works I use historical references to raise questions about sexuality, control, power, empathy, the randomness of violent behavior, and the notion of determinism. Artistically I explore these themes using my background as an actress, performer, and musician.
One of the methods I use is reciting words originally spoken by other people, hence putting them in a different context. In that way I examine their impact on the receiver(s) and on myself. What effect do the words of one person have when spoken by another, when no prior knowledge of the persons or the circumstances is given? On these occasions I wish to question the dynamic between a violent person on one side and a seemingly innocent person on the other, between man and woman, and to blur the lines between who is vulnerable and who is in control.
Naama Freedman is a Hamburg based Israeli artist, musician, performer, and DJ. Born in Tel Aviv, she was trained as a classical and jazz pianist and singer, and later studied classical composition and bass guitar. She was further trained as a dancer in tap, ballet, and jazz. Freedman earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy and history from Tel Aviv University and a diploma in theater from Beit Zvi School of the Performing Arts. She performs and collaborates in various stage productions, ranging from musicals and orchestral concerts to experimental art performances.
As a visual artist Freedman works with video, installation and sound, and incorporates music and text into her performances. Her work has been exhibited in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, USA, and Brazil. Over the years she has taken part in several musical projects, and is a member of the Hamburg based DJ collective Isle of Wax.
Playful, smart and effective...Almost feels like a riddle or a game. At first glance, I was "tricked" into watching this work as a confession from a woman, about how she rejects a man cruelly...until something felt a little off. Then I realized the voiceover was a serial killer’s. I rewatched the work, and only then was my viewing complete. The work rang in my mind for some time afterwards -- it was deliberately constructed to have that effect, to provoke proactive spectatorship that instills a sense of intimacy between the maker and the viewer.
I also enjoyed that touch of humor of an artist turning into a murderer when rejecting someone.
I did not pay much attention to the VO, nor the fact that a female voice could have been to simulate that of a male protagonist. … The fragments to me very casually hang together and the structure could have been solid. (WONG Chun-hoi)
I like this work although I, too, find it a bit elliptical. It is visually surprising, and yet the gender play could have been better constructed. I don’t feel much for the themes and motifs, but the overall setup has managed to fix my attention on the voice over. On the VO’s gender switch... I’m not entirely sure about the intended impact other than signifying a gesture on gender politics. I recall Chris Marker and Trinh T. Minh-ha -- both have experimented this as a critical response to cinematic convention leading to the transformation of the representation of experiences. The work in question now is pointing to that experimental tradition but it is in fact more to provoke fun and irony. I still appreciate the work for its achieving great certainty in its tone and to present ambiguities the way they could make us feel estranged.. There is something to think about regarding the victim of this crime. Would we have “read” the story differently had the VO and victim been gender-neutral? (Linda Lai)
I watched the video twice, it’s very direct and simple. I like the way he turns it into a sketch-like video. (John Chow)
I like such simple and direct experimentation; it demonstrates a kind of confidence that this video has to happen. Then I find the work a lot of fun. It’s very memorable and unique in the context of a video zine. (WONG Fei-pang)
12' 00" | 4:3 | 2020 | Digital HD Selected category:  OBJECT LIVES / OBJECT-LOGUES 「東西自白」
ideology, religion, indoctrination
意識形態, 宗教, 灌輸
The three words in the title, Nil, nix and nul(l), are the Latin and German ways to say zero and nothing. These words are concatenated to be the name of an unrecognizable figure who gradually disappears in the video. The fragmentary images of boiling, cleaning and soaking in the video imitate the process of baptism and religious depuration of the mind. This is not meant to challenge religious practices but, rather, to ponder how individuals subconsciously hold onto a particular ideology and faith through words, images, still things, and human icons. The work attempts to explore the phenomenon of transforming caesaropapism into the structure of the modern regime.
Louisze Chan is a Hong Kong media art student. She is enthusiastic about turning vague, amorphous emotions and thoughts into a series of moving images. Her works are built upon the observations of the city and the relation of one’s mentality to their surroundings through rearranging fragments of life and found images she found in the city into a continuous tangible individual speech act.
I like this work being very expressive, and I like its excess. I am impressed by the maker’s ability to stretch a simple concept in so many directions. I could describe the work as a ritual in itself, an exorcism that is unfolding in front of me. (Linda Lai)
I think it’s constantly about layers: driven by shame, the making is constantly writing and covering up. (John Chow)
I like this work after seeing the candy melting. I found this work more interesting than others with its multi-fold meaning; it is not just overlaying. There is a touch of horror. (WONG Fei-pang)