April 16, 2014

Ming Wong. Part 2

The artist on his way back to Berlin in the comfortable seats of Deutscher Bahn,
 reading The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares

Yesterday - on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - Ming Wong came to the art school Burg Giebichenstein in Halle (Saale) to give a talk. We started the visit by having a look at the seismological crack in the market place, eating a Georg Frideric Handel praline (Halle has the oldest chocolate factory in Germany!), and then taking the streetcar Nr. 1 "Frohe Zukunft" (Happy Future) to the impressive Deutschen Rentenversicherung (German pension insurance) building with next to it our final destination: the building "Hermes". Ming Wong's talk was a success, taking us from Pina Bausch inspired Kontakthope (featuring me in pink dress :-)), Fassbinder, Visconti, and Polanski to his latest piece for Shiseido Gallery in Tokyo. The students were excited except for a dog belonging to one of them. Being clearly very critical about it all, she started to snore. 

Ming Wong, Kontakthope, featuring me in pink dress on the right

But I got inspired to link, once more (see the ending of the last blog post), Ming Wong with Andy Warhol (as you know by now, the main driving force of this blog). By deconstructing the film, so Ming Wong told us, his aim is actually to show and underscore the vision of the filmmaker - a vision that often gets lost or befuddled: the audience, for instance, gets distracted by the actors and their celebrity. 

Well, complementarily, Andy Warhol made films like Sleep, 1963 of his friend sleeping for 5 hours and 20 minutes -  a static film in which each frame is the same. In the 1966 "Andy Warhol: My True Story" interview he commented: "I made my earliest films using, for several hours, just one actor on the screen doing the same thing: eating or sleeping or smoking; I did this because people usually just go to the movies to see only the star, to eat him up, so here at last is a chance to look only at the star for as long as you like, no matter what he does and to eat him up all you want to." And being asked in an interview for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1975 if he was trying to make boredom chic, Warhol answered: "No. What I was trying to do is make comedy in the audience. People always have a better time, have more fun together than watching what is on the screen."

Upcoming: Ming Wong told me he is preparing an apocalyptical performance for the forthcoming Hong Kong International Art Fair.

And to finish this "Ming Wong. Part 2" entry: do you know that Ming Wong even succeeded in baffling New York Times legendary art critic Roberta Smith? His art, so she stated after watching his "Persona Performa" at Performa 11, makes you ponder: "'what was that?" and having it stick in your mind for days."

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