2020 Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition – ANIMA Exploring the flowing imagery screened in mind
Since it was held by Hong-Gah Museum for the first time in 2008, Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition (TIVA), a biennial event, has been witnessing the up-to-date developments of contemporary video art, in dialogue with the dynamics of contemporary art scenes in Taiwan. Innovative breakthroughs during the time span of over a decade have laid the foundation for its international prominence today, with curators playing an essential role to raise questions and to challenge possibilities of image and image-making. This year marks the first collaboration between two major institutions—Hong-Gah Museum and Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB)—to organize the event. Independent curator, Eva LIN, and curator of C-LAB, YU Wei, are invited to execute an exhibition pertaining to the main theme on which conventional viewing experience centering around one's visual sense is expanded and redefined with the inclusion of other sensory perceptions when approaching images. Furthermore, it can be seen as an attempt to reopen existing spaces in museums while drawing upon characteristics of an unconventional exhibition space like that of C-LAB in order to address the fluid nature of the interaction between images and diverse places.
A record-breaking number of over 700 entries submitted to the open call
Like previous TIVA events, the 7th edition of TIVA invites works from prominent artists and conducts an international open call. Over 700 entries of video works were submitted by artists around the world, a record-breaking number in the history of TIVA. The exhibition this year takes place at venues including Hong-Gah Museum and Art Space V at C-LAB. With the considerable scale of these venues and the significant implications contextualized with their physical presence, an unprecedented and extraordinary sensory experience is to be expected by the audience. A total of 20 video installations and moving image works are shown at both venues, with 6 other works presented in the "Screening Program" held at Art Space IV at C-Lab, starting on the 8th of December, 2020.
Starting with hypnosis as a ritual for image viewing, the audience is invited to experience a trance-like state
Under the theme of this edition, "ANIMA," "hypnosis as a kind of ritual for image viewing" is seen as a departure point to disrupt the audience's habitual patterns of viewing. Through the hypnoticity within images, new dimensions of sensory perceptions are evoked for the viewers to approach video works. Many works in the exhibition involve dreams, fantasy, illusion, and subconsciousness. However, the curator stresses that "instead of a thematized exhibition merely focusing on contents of artworks, ANIMA adopts perspectives of viewers and deals with ways of seeing. It addresses how visual representations come into being in our minds as well as the trance-like state one encounters through immersion in images, as if hypnotized." It is not about understanding the information conveyed by images. It is, rather, about the particular sensory and cognitive journeys one can experience via images that shed some light on further implications of artworks.
"Anima" means "life" or "spirits" in Latin. Based on the motif, the 7th edition of TIVA invites viewers to explore the subtle and inexplicable sensory journeys of perceiving images, without being purposefully attentive. Much like participating in a hypnosis ritual, the audience enters an in-between state bordering sobriety and trance in order to have a glance at the flowing images screened in our minds, which presses us to wonder: when images artfully escape from the physical world to which we are accustomed, what are these images that dwell in dreams, illusions, subconsciousness, and fragments of memories?
Works of 26 artists including newly commissioned pieces are shown in the exhibition across two different venues
Newly commissioned pieces for the exhibition by Taiwanese artists, NIU Jun-Qiang, LEE Ji-Hong, LIN Guan-Ming, and LIU Yu, as well as the latest works of internationally renowned artists, Stan DOUGLAS (Canada), Katarzyna KOZYRA (Poland), and Ceal FLOYER (UK), are to be seen in the exhibition. Other participating artists include Mihai GRECU (Romania), Chulayarnnon SIRIPHOL (Thailand), WU Tzu-An (Taiwan), Hiraki SAWA (Japan), Alexei DMITRIEV (Russia), Singing CHEN (Taiwan), Albert GARCÍA-ALZÓRRIZ (Spain), Meiro KOIZUMI (Japan), María MOLINA PEIRÓ (Spain), Stefano MIRAGLIA (Italy), Rossella NISIO (Italy), Nicolas PROVOST (Belgium), Ben RIVERS (UK), Ruth WATERS (UK), Gernot WIELAND (Austria), YAN Wai-Yin (HK), HUI Gi-Wai (HK), TAO Hui (China) and LIN Yen-Chao(Taiwan), among a total of 26 artists.
**Participation from the public and inter-institutional collaboration **
As an extension and warm-up leading up to the exhibition, a series of public programs named "ANIMA Sessions" starts in July and spans across the course of the exhibition till January 2021. Based upon the topic, "mise-en-scène for reality," talks, workshops, performances, and themed guided tours in different forms are organized to investigate images beyond visual experiences and the blurred boundaries between image and illusion, in the hope for wider public participation and dialogues which is not confined by the static scope of the physical exhibition. In addition to the physical exhibition at Hong-Gah Museum and C-LAB, there are also two programs happening across different platforms made possible by inter-institutional collaboration. First, working with online streaming service provider, "Giloo," TIVA introduces DAU. Degeneration—a six-hour film shown as part of the Berlinale Special Program—to the audience at the screening at Art Space IV, C-LAB on the 27th of September. Moreover, 10 documentary works addressing banal topics in a particular magical surrealistic style, including one from ANIMA, are made available online during the exhibition. Second, with the collaboration with YU-HSIU MUSEUM of ART , ANIMA Screening Tour on October 31st and November 1st brings some of the works in the exhibition to art enthusiasts in central Taiwan in the form of indoor and outdoor screenings, along with curators' talks.
Press release courtesy Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab.