InfoPosted by Bjørn Venø Fri, October 10, 2014 12:09:14 DigitaLive was an experiment and a fusion of what is live and digital. It took place from November 30 2013 to January 26 2014 at the YouYou Contemporary Art Centre in Guangzhou showcasing art works of eight chinese and eight scandinavian contemporary artists. Curated by Jonas Stampe
The shop owners complained about this post, I was advised by the gallery to take it down, which I said I would do for the duration of the show out of respect to TENDERPIXEL. I was told this post was inflammatory and bias. I do not deny it being subjective... as objectivity from my point of view is only an ideal we can strive for. I invite the shop owners to present their point of view and promise that I will not try to silence their voice. The post is once again public.
They told me to shut up, they pulled me of the chair, they threatened to beat me, this was not art in their eyes.
It was not my intention to agrivate, I wanted to tell a story that is a rewriting of a Norwegian Fairy tale The Ashlad and the Hungry Troll (http://www.caprino.no/movies/en/guttensomkappaat.asp) - my version is about how one day the old must make way for the new, it is about finding a new way to solve a problem, it is about how the licensed fool can succeed.
I started the performance on the doorstep of the gallery TENDERPIXEL where I have a show on. The gallery is surrounded by antique shops, book shops and other shops of curiosity.
Within a minute of starting the performance I heard one of the shop owners tell me to shut up, some passer byes stopped to listen, but most walked past, giving unpleasant comments. Two other shop owners came out and asked me to dampen my voice, which I did, but their dismissive comments that I could still hear fuelled me on and made me tell the story louder, the story blended in to the space, the evil father in my story became the shop owners' who did not want to listen, who said I was being selfish stepping up to tell my story, who clearly wanted me away, I could not understand why. This is a lively street, street tours often pass by here to look and talk about the house where Mozart once lived. But for some reason my presence disturbed them, maybe threatened them?
The performance ended in a crescendo, with a German football hooligan encouraged by a shop owner to shout at me. I finished the performance how I always did by cutting open my false stomach with a knife revealing porridge, in hindsight I can admit that this was not a wise choice to do in public.
As I stood their pulling porridge out of my stomach a shop owner stormed towards me shouting that I should get of my chair, I told him not to shout at me and that I was finished, but his anger was great and he pulled me of the chair and wanted to hit me, which he would have if it had not bean for a bystander who held him back. I looked at one of the other shop owners, a man in tweed, clearly a lover of old and beautiful books shaking in anger and aggression, who only managed to mutter, go away.
Which I did.
The fact that I used a knife in the performance gave, I presume one of the shop owners, the excuse to call the police. 9 police stormed the gallery, several of them carrying guns, not drawn, but ready to take down this artist, me, who had ben compared to a terrorist. There were also police on horses outside the gallery.
Standing there surrounded by police, I admitted I had used a knife as part of my performance, they told me that was not wise, and that if I should ever do that again I would need to clear it with them first, which I agreed with. When I told them more about my performance, the fairytale aspect of it and the porridge, I could see how their perception shifted in their face. I might have spoken to deaf ears on the street, but the police, I think understood that I was not a threat or even intended to be and gave me a caution.
This experience has grately shocked me, not for being stormed by the police, but for how what I had previously perceived as educated men dismissed and hated contemporary art.
In my work I have an agenda, to widen people's perceptions and understanding, to stimulate new ways of thinking, which in turn I hope will benefit our society. I did the performance on the street in the hopes to draw passers byes in to the workshop I was going to do later that day. But in that I failed, but strengthened my resolve for that our society strongly needs artists. When even literate men behave as hooligans.
I wish to apologies to TENDERPIXEL it was not my intention to provoke this reaction from your neighbours.
InfoPosted by Bjørn Venø Tue, July 03, 2012 21:40:49 For my final work at Royal College of Art I produced a 4x5m billboard, one 10 min video and one 8 hour video that looked at ideas about the hero, failure and what it is to be a man.