Prompted by doubts and discontent with reality, The Rebellion of Moving Image uses poetic expressions to intervene in reality, with multi-image narratives formed. This rebellion doubts and resists power structures’ one-sidedness and established-ness that are observed in capital flows, population migration, religious and national powers. Through poetic associations and imaginations, imaginary images are turned into tools of political interference, as “the future of the past” is suspended, reorganized, and reimagined.
Straying away from the creative approach previously seen in video art, which resisted and challenged the notion of narrative, cinematic filming approach is instead referenced here, with narratives embraced to deal with contemporary social issues. Nonetheless, singular linear narratives do not suffice in expressing the spiritual escapes and complex identities resulting from contemporary society’s many-sided crisscrossing power wrangles, leading to the employment of diverse narrative approaches by the artists. Moving images are used to overlap fiction with reality, allowing fictitious plots to serve beyond sensationalizing certain incidents, and regaining the right of discourse from the authority. “Fictional” political-ness is applied to negotiate with and seize reality, with the future filled with new creative and developmental possibilities.
Five Taiwanese and international artists are invited to showcase their artworks in this exhibition. Drones, Frosted Bats and the Testimony of the Deceased by Hsu Chia-Wei is set in the ruins of the 2nd Navy Fuel Plant from the Japanese colonial period in Taiwan, with aerial images of the plant accompanied by voiceover of a former Japanese military officer’s memoir. Played in a random manner, the image-based narrative becomes arbitrary and haphazard, suggesting the impossibility to reconstruct the historical text.
Inferno by Yael Bartana depicts in Hollywood-esque epic saga style the incident of Brazil’s Universal Church of the Kingdom of God’s recreation of the Temple of Solomon in São Paulo. Her work addresses the construction through a vision of its future and questions if destruction is foreshadowed? Auto Da Fé by John Akomfrah connects population migrations over the last 400 years due to religious persecution with today’s Syrian refugee crisis, presenting the vulnerable state of reality faced by the displaced and the risks and failures they have endured in their quests for a better life. Recode by Wu Tsan-Cheng creates fabricated sounds in MoCA, Taipei’s architectural space, spanning across three segments of the space’s history of Japanese occupation, city hall, and art museum, using sounds to awaken bygone images. Ten Thousand Waves by Isaac Julien is inspired by the 2004 tragedy with Chinese cockle pickers drowned on a flooded sandbank in Morecambe Bay, England. The artwork crisscrosses reality, mythology, and fictional plots, immersing the viewers in poetic images while prompting them to reflect on reality.
The artworks on view in The Rebellion of Moving Image are based on realistic spaces, incidents, and texts, with meticulously arranged audio-visual components used with multiple references of location, history, literature, cinema, and legend applied to connect with a broader space-time context. Meta-critiques on reality are engaged in through fictional and non-fictional cross-examinations and interactions, with new realities also produced.