DiverseWorks has commissioned Los Angeles-based artist Wu Tsang to create a multi-media installation and performance that inhabits a space between fiction and documentary. Tsang is an award-winning filmmaker and performer, who explores the relationship between self, identity, and the narratives that construct them. This new project takes as a point of departure the question of underground/sub-cultures within a trans-national context.
Moved by the Motion features a 2-channel film installation that explores the sensorial potential of pictures in relation to narrative. Working in a tradition of artist-filmmakers, Tsang looks at the role that fantasy plays in representing social movements. Evoking “the underground” as a site of cultural resistance, he considers how these constructs have been transformed by contemporary life and social media.
The 2-channel film, entitled A day in the life of bliss, simultaneously explores cinematic and performative narrative. The film follows BLIS, played by the performer boychild, who inhabits a near future world in which our social media avatars and online personas develop their own hive-minded consciousness called LOOKS. BLIS, a celebrity-collaborator by day and underground performer by night, discovers her ability to challend the LOOKS. Utilizing sci-fi genre tropes and melodrama, the film evokes a classic outsider narrative that is complicated by affect, movement, and body politics.
Moved by the Motion is the first in a series of performances and works by Wu Tsang to premiere in Houston. Over the course of 2014-15, several related projects will be presented, including a live performance at DiverseWorks as part of CounterCurrent in collaboration with the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts (Saturday, April 12, 2014) and a video installation in the exhibition Double Life at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (December 19, 2014 – March 13, 2015).
About the artist
Wu Tsang is a Los Angeles based filmmaker, artist, and performer. His projects have been presented at the Tate Modern (London); the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the New Museum (New York); ICA (Philadelphia); and MOCA and REDCAT (Los Angeles). In 2012, he participated in the Whitney Biennial and New Museum Triennial (New York), Gwangju Biennial (South Korea), and Liverpool Biennial (UK). He was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012, and is a Film Independent Project:Involve alum. His first feature WILDNESS won multiple awards, including the Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Documentary at Outfest 2012. WILDNESS had its world premiere at MoMA Documentary Fortnight (New York, NY), and was screened at SXSW (Austin, TX), Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada), and SANFIC8 (Santiago, Chile), among other festivals. Tsang was recently selected as one of 35 artists included in the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. 2014 biennial.
Moved by the Motion was commissioned and developed by DiverseWorks in collaboration with the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
This project is supported in part by an award from Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, and foundations, corporations, and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas; the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance; The University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, and through support from the National Performance Network’s Visual Artists Network. Major contributors are The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Lambent Foundation – a project of the Tides Center, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Southwest Airlines. Additional support from The Hollyfield Foundation.