CAVE — Centre for Audiovisual Experimentation

Zejun Yao, Game On, 2018
Project Space, Fine Art Building, University of Leeds

Still from video, Zejun Yao

Game On is an attempt to explore the concept of ‘mise-en-scène’ deployed through the form of games and sporting activities within interdisciplinary arts for the ‘active audience’, encountered in conventional art spaces. Through participatory and collaborative practice accompanied with audiovisual installation and performance the artist’s role and motivation is to be the instigator and author of the work, presenting an ephemeral situation for public interaction and production. The work is consistent with the recent parallel exhibits including Game One: a narrative relay (Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge) and Game Two: an indoor practice (University of Kent/Paris School of Arts and Culture) under the umbrella of Yao’s work in series, Project Artisthlete.

As a typical global citizen in a contemporary society it is both easy to feel connected to many people, whilst at the same time feeling completely lost and disconnected. Situated between the ‘can it be’ to the ‘let it be’ attitudes, “it is passivity that dulls feeling” (Sontag, 2003). The still motion stays unbalanced. The independence remains dependent. As many art forms and movements have been voiced and even impacted during this short period of human history, does Art need to be whispered or shouted into different codes of context to suit the heart of an audience? Or does the ‘heart’ also need to be tweaked and recomposed for our time? Yet, are we still content to see that this discipline, whether in the form of singularity or plurality, is still consistent in its privilege of being measured or involved with either scientific or artistic methods? I am not trying to push that far to make the final decision. The imagery of being a lonesome world traveller and artisthlete has positioned an identically essential part deep in the ‘heart’, just like a nomadic artist carrying a humble passion and dreams on his travels. Is there any desire for debating this shifting identity? We wouldn’t break this active silence. Game On.

Project Space, 5 - 7 November 2018.