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Static Theater # 2: When I Am Talking to you I Am Not Talking to You

WHEN I AM TALKING TO YOU I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU is the second performance of my exploration of Static Theater. By integrating performance into exhibition the concept explores theater’s potential for curation, the space is switched between a “white box” and a “black box” to create different contexts of presenting art works and performance. The performance makes use of video walls and audience’s live chat through mobile to decentrailze the frontal stage and disperse the focus of the spectator. Within this framework the piece investigates integration and the complex negotiation between parallel cultural identities and realities in the our technological era.


The spiritual experience of being somewhere other than where you are, has been a philosophical issue since ancient times. Our contemporary technological reality poses new challenges to the topic. The deviation and negation between virtual and physical experiences get further complicated when cultural differences come into play. Our activities on social media (facebook, twitter, whatsapp, blog ...) create a second life which questions our identity and reality. When living in a foreign country and culture, the internet can be used in an effective way to get information and keep in touch with the native culture. In this way online social media can cause tension between the assimilation of the new culture and the native background. On the other side, social media creates possibilities and strategies to negotiate and integrate the different cultures in one’s life. I have experienced being an immigrant in many countries, and as part of the generation who grow up with internet, she presents the complex of realities: physical and virtual presence, realistic daily life and the surrealistic dreamy world, the cultural identity from the original background and the culture life of the host land. The internet increases integration and fragmentation at the same time, and both facilitates and misleads the understanding between people. The issue should be reflected both in theater and contemporary arts.

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In WHEN I AM TALKING TO YOU I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU the audience are hedged by video walls which project alienated cultures and deviated communications. Different happenings are continuously causing distractions, through lighting, voice overs and text of audience’s live chat displayed on the screens. Using a series of virtual images, platforms, passive and active works of art, the audience in this performance get an impression of the migrant's schizophrenic experience of reality, as a representation of their own, and feel the choices you are not given in contact with the authorities. The audience are invited to chat with each other or comment  about the performance, etc. with their mobile phones which are lively displayed on a screen in the performance, to deliberately challenge the centralized focus of a performance stage, and the closed space of gallery, measured against the limitless concurrency in our real lives. For the premiere, eight Norwegian artists have developed artworks for the piece which include sculptures, installations, and two video walls created by a Chinese video artist. The artists have individually interpreted the different perspectives on the subject matter, and together form the alienation between our communication and realities. The artworks are displayed in two different rooms : a classic black box, a theatre, and a white cube, a gallery where the audience determines their time and placement in front of the work. After the performance, audience are invited to walk and to look at each individual artwork in detail in both rooms.

Concept, director, curating and text: Jingyi Wang


Stage and light design: Leo Preston

Artworks by: Håkon Holm Olsen, Helene Norseth, Nina Bang Larsen, Lona Hansen, Gabriel Johann Kvendseth, Sarah Jost, Lasse Årikstad.

Video art : Yafei Qi


Live camera: Elias Björn.

Programmer: Robert Fohlin.

Co-production: BIT Teatergarasjen, Kunsthall 3,14 

Venue: Kunsthall 3.14, Bergen, Norway

Dates: Nov.17th - Dec.11th, 2016

Funding body: Art Council of Norway, Bergen Municipality, Fond for Lyd org Bilde (Fund for image and sound)

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