Ghost 2565: Live Without Dead Time
12.10 - 13.11.2022
Wu Tsang is a filmmaker and performer whose multi-disciplinary practice highlights hidden struggles and marginalized narratives, while consistently exploring strategies of collaboration, performance, and improvisation. Her deeply collaborative approach engendered the foundation of the performance group she co-founded with Tosh Basco called “Moved by the Motion” in 2016. Some of the ensemble members joined Tsang as she took up the role of director in residence at the Schauspielhaus theater in Zurich. Shot at the theater with the ensemble just before the pandemic-led lockdown, the furore around George Floyd’s murder, and the Black Lives Matter protests, the script is comprised of parts of Tsang’s long-time collaborator Fred Moten’s evolving poem come on, get it that contemplates indivisibility, visibility, fluidity, earth, and mud in their constitutive relationship to blackness. In fusing documentary and narrative filmmaking approaches, The show is over, in Tsang’s words, “addresses themes around policing, and violence, and embodies our resistance as black, queer, POC under perpetual siege of the State.”
As Basco puts it, the film is “a composition of compositions”, and a “pursuit of study and play”. The work combines staging, lighting, scenography, camography (camera-choreography), and improvised movement of individuals, shadows, and voices to complicate the ordering of relations that destabilizes typical power dynamics between performer and camera, as well as the possibility of any centered subject in relation to others in the frame. A line from the poem, “the world is dry land, earth is water” sets the scene and is a metaphor for the dichotomy of a bare constructed society of control versus the wet muckiness of earth. In a different scene, a choreography of ascensions and descensions onto an illusory Penrose triangle, an infinite staircase to nowhere, both connects and separates the performers, depending on one’s viewpoint. A raw account of bodies touching, congregating and disapearing between death and resurrection, the non-linear work is a powerful negotiation of ways of living and surviving that refuses singularity and embraces a perpetually unfixed politics of representation.
A film by Wu Tsang with Tosh Basco and Moved by the Motion.
Original score by Asma Maroof, with Patrick Belaga, Kelsey Lu, Ahya Simone, Klein, and Austin Williamson.
Production of Schauspielhaus Zürich, and co-produced by Lafayette Foundation with additional support by UBS Kulturstiftung.
Curated by Christina Li.
Ghost 2565 highlights untold stories of figures and places caught in the chasms created by the incohesion and tensions of contemporary life. A response to the specific context of Bangkok, Ghost 2565 assembles multivalent presents, pasts, and futures that attempt to define a phantasmagorial city in resistance to homogenous narratives. The subtitle is translated from the line “vivre sans temps mort”, spray-painted on the wall of the Sorbonne in Paris in May 1968, which pointed to the collective state of comatose compliance in the face of capitalism when society had become a monstrous accumulation of spectacles and commodified experiences. Confronted with the totalizing power of representation, how might we disrupt the forces that lull us into empty existence?
This second edition occupies the glitch produced by desynchronized space and time and the conflicting visions of an amorphous city in flux. From within the Bangkok’s fabric, Ghost 2565 forges a space of mutual learning by gathering perspectives from established and emerging artists and practitioners from Thailand, the wider region, and beyond connected through shared urgencies and struggles across temporalities and geographies. The triennial series inspires audiences to establish and inhabit existing frameworks toward other possible knowledge and futures and yield new forms of living. In searching for alternative narratives that reside in the crevices, this multidisciplinary platform catalyzes a collective act to reclaim disinherited time and spaces to explore the subjectivities, untold stories, and shared visions that might emerge.
Ghost 2565: Live Without Dead Time takes place in venues throughout Bangkok.
‘Ghost’ is a video and performance art series that happens every three years.