I’ve been roused to post after the Christmas hiatus by an email from Xiao Ke. She sent me a link to the Chinese contemporary art website Art-Ba-Ba where, quite unexpectedly, photos from my performance of Cosán Dearg in Shenzhen in 2007 have turned up. I can’t work out why they’ve surfaced now.
The discussion, prompted by nudity, is about freedom, and while I can’t decipher the precise intention of the post, it seems to wish for liberation of the body and mind.
I am reminded that these ephemeral performances have the potential to haunt, to return unexpectedly, suggesting that they have a continuing life and impact, even when they have slipped from my consciousness. This potential tells me that the idea that I leave things behind – move on, forward, away – is a misconception.
Maybe it’s time to revisit Dadao. Just before Christmas, I received a preview copy of the documentary, Dancing on the Edge, which Talal Al Muhanna made about the 5th Dadao Live Art festival experience. Having spent more time in China since then, I squirm at little at my naivité and ignorance: the documentary is right to capture that. When he posts it online, I’ll add a link to it.
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