2057: Rehearsing Ways of  Living

Curatorial Statement

Since the pandemic, social and art discourses and modes of cultural practices have been continuously varied and reframed, with emergencies of climate change, human rights, natural disasters, mobility, and economic crisis among others.

While living in the ‘now or never', some arts institutions and artists view that intersections of social engagement, art, and activism in the 21st century have been shaping new and alternative dimensions and agencies. But how would these concerns related to the notion of ‘post-pandemic contemporary art’ mean and matter to Taiwan- a bubble of normality? This is beyond going online to make art or any cultural contingencies under the impact of the pandemic. This is to question what kind of art we really need today to speculate and confront the times.

This is also why when I was invited in late 2020 by the National Theatre of Taiwan to conceive a project to celebrate its 35th anniversary, what urged me was to formulate shared spaces and conditions allowing local artists and audiences to think and act together. Therefore the performative production of this project has become a series of drills, exercises, and rehearsals. Drills essentially propose theatrical situations in which people’s bodies and minds warm up and repeatedly rehearse for disasters or accidental emergencies, in order to react, survive and take actions. Drills suggest instructions, storyboards, scripts, choreography, and musical scores.

In the 11 events of 2057: Rehearsing Ways of Living, the artists imagine what the drills would look, feel and sound like if devising rehearsals for sea-level rise, gender equality, food crisis, cyberwarfare, covid-19 baby bust, unknown viruses, endangered cultures and languages, and the ephemeral anthropocene among others.
The invited artists in this project show various social and cultural concerns in their works. However, this project rather conducts those concerns as ways of thinking and doing than issues or subjects of work. Many of the artists are also new bloods that the National Theatre has not worked with. As a fearless try, they will be coming out from here. Regarding the future, voices, movements and perspectives from the young generation must be heard and seen. Charting the times and writing his/herstories of the now and future, through 2057, we are all already living in 2057- now or never.

策展論述 Now or Never

疫情爆發以來,許多既有藝術—社會的論述與文化實踐模組持續改寫與變異,並緊密牽連著氣候、人權、自然、經濟、遷徙等各種失衡與危機。人們不得不意識到自己活在一個now or never的時刻。對些許藝術家及文化機構來說,21世紀以降社會參與、藝術與行動主義之間無疑正在形塑新的、更具能動性的對話。而我時常在想,在相對風平浪靜的台灣,這些關於「後疫情當代藝術」的問題意識與行動如何展開。這不僅是轉線上或旅行限制所致使的技術移轉或文化資源策略協商,而是更積極地去問,我們如今需要什麼樣的藝術、如何思考與實踐,來直面時代。

我邀請了11組20至40世代來自視覺藝術、舞蹈及 劇場實踐的藝 術家加入 這場計畫。他們或各有關切之議題,但我們無意將創作視為議題式作文。更重要的是思考與行動方式。譬如說,一件女性主義思考方式的作品跟一件女性主義議題的作品是不同的。而這11組藝術家當中,有的是第一次創作,或是第一次進到劇場空間創作,也有的是首度在兩廳院發表作品。如此啟用新血的嘗試,有賴於機構相當程度的信任。畢竟,論及未來,我們不可能將年輕世代置身世外。我們必須聽他們的聲音,看他們的身體,理解他們如何觀測自己的未來。這件計畫,希望能夠標示出一個世代及時代的印記,成為歷史書寫的一部分,讓過去、現在、未來在此時此刻交手對話。

Cocept, Curation & Dramaturgy: River Lin
Artists: Mu-Hsi Kao & Chia-Wei Kuo, Yu-Ju Lin & Hsiao-Tzu Tien, Ming-Chieh Lee, Acid House, Shih-Han Chieh, Ciwas Tahos, Ming-Ting Yu, Pin-Wen Su, Eric Tsai, Chun-Yu Chen, Watan Tusi.

17-27 March, 2022
Experimental Theatre of National Theatre of Taiwan. 

Produciton: National Theatre and Concert Hall, Taiwan.

︎Download the program notes:
17 March / Mu-Hsi Kao & Chia-Wei Kuo
18 March / Yu-Ju Lin & Hsiao-Tzu Tien
19 March / Ming-Chieh Lee
20 March / Acid House
21 March / Shih-Han Chieh
22 March / Anchi Lin / Ciwas Tahos
23 March / Ming-Ting Yu
24 March / Pin-Wen Su
25 March / Eric Tsai
26 March / Chun-Yu Chen
27 March / Watan Tusi

林祐如、 田孝慈、 蘇品文、 瓦旦督喜、 林安琪Ciwas Tahos、 陳俊宇、 李明潔、 簡詩翰、 蔡承翰、 喻敏婷、 酸屋、 高慕曦、 郭家瑋