Li-Ming Hu

Putting it together


Barbra Streisand does Stephen Sondheim from a musical on the pointillist painter, George Seurat. She tweaked a few lyrics to make it more relevant for her Broadway album but the points are all there. Add The Pet Shop Boys’ languid vocal combination of self pity and self knowledge and half my work is done for me. If only.

I’ve incorporated masks, pop music and dancing as a way of dealing with my art world anxiety; a quick and dirty way of being someone else, of attaining the desired Other, or at least, some of their attributes or success. In our high performance culture, the distance between the performance of artistic identity, and the labour of art making, seems to be becoming ever smaller. I’ve examined, via performance and re-enactment, certain art world conventions, such as the artist-run initiative, the panel discussion, the competition and the art school pep talk.

Negotiating boundaries is a constant endeavour – between appropriate and inappropriate types of performance and appropriation, performance and documentation, tragedy and comedy, success and failure, art and life. Installation forms a site where it can be difficult to tell where the performance begins and ends, and the objects and moving images within are intended to operate as both artefacts of performance and performing in their own right.

027 A1995
No Solution Fatman

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