EPFC | May 4th, 2020
Thanks to Echo Park Film Center I’ve been given the opportunity to present to you a selection of 4 movies (and artists) over the course of the next 4 Mondays in May. An extra big thank you to Kate Lain who has not only helped organize this, but whose work to spread avant-garde, independent filmmaking during this quarantine time has been extraordinary.
The theme for this month’s work is Body Politics + Digital Phenomenology. As an artist/curator I’m interested in the way hyperreality affects our world by forging illusions held together by a vast network of simulacra that has destroyed “reality”. I’m interested in the way hyperreality is exterminating our consciousness of self and our perception of physical existence/space as we yearn for virtual comfort and connectedness.
How do we attack hyperreality, reclaiming the real from patriarchal institutions and dominant cultures, while continuing to explore the phenomenology of digital existence?
In this series we’ll be exploring four radical artists whose work deals directly with one or both thematic subjects. Through a multitude of media these artists create transcendent experiences that radically reorient the spectator. (to spur introspection and disassociate from the corporate spectacle/spectator paradigm.)
The first artist I’d like to highlight is Xiaoer Liu, a native of China now working in Berlin, whose work is non-stop daily catharsis/reflection/diary-divulging/self-sacrifical rite of empowerment. Xiaoer is a fellow co-founder of AGITATE:21C, an international, all-inclusive, avant-garde, and she is among the most bold, courageous, and prolific artists of our generation. Her work embodies the avant-garde spirit, probably better than anyone else.
While I’m including a digitized super-8 movie, Xiaoer’s work is really a large transmedia puzzle laid out across several platforms including facebook, Vimeo, and instagram accounts including: @showerartspace @endless_confusion @xiaoer.liu_s_art
Xiaoer’s work expresses fearless purging of her traumas, a window into every emotional escape, depicting frank and honest sexuality and body exploration across paintings, drawings, journals, photos, videos, films, and public performances. She literally burns her physical work in staged instagram performance every few months as a re-inauguration of her artistic self, just as she publicly performs tearing layers upon layers of plastic bindings to reveal herself as naked and bruised by all of the restraints – social, racial, political, familial – that she has had to resist against her entire life. This resistance is key to her work, which also includes spontaneous art party performances and dances where she demands the bewildered public to “PAY ARTISTS” #FUCKYOUPAYME. Xiaoer is actually harnessing an avant-garde energy that screams a big “Fuck You” at all of the illusory institutions that seek to silence this type of honesty in art – a censorship she knows more than most artists.
I’ve chosen 3800 PICTURES OF MY GIRL because it is an artifact of this larger practice, an abstract movie made entirely of her menstruation, which she lovingly refers to as her girl. She is taking pride in her body and in the art that she produces, organically, naturally, and without fear of toxic patriarchy and reactionary disgust. The work transcends into a trance as she shares a “sacrament” of herself as raw art.
https://vimeo.com/382497655 – 3800 PICTURES OF MY GIRL