Wu Tsang - Under Cinema @ FACT Liverpool 

GDLP 21/01/18 

emoji summary: 🌒👣🌱


i have watched a lot of films recently or tbh: since we went to the berwick film festival last year i haven’t been able to stop. maybe i gained a skill there 2 to finish my meal, idk. I got a mubi subscription on black friday and it’s just been on and on, nice, concentrated; like each film is a bit of an education. But i realised when I went to see Wu Tsang’s exhibition at FACT how bound films are to their own form/audience/identity as capital f Films, and how instead, art can afford the filmmaker room to be a liability, a lil weird, late, irritable, chaotic good. An artfilm can talk with food in its mouth and u still listen, or it can type something messy without autocorrect turned on and u still get what it’s trying to say. the actors are normal people; the lighting is a bit off but its fine. (I should spend time on vdrome.org ffs why do i always forget that website exists).


In the downstairs gallery at FACT, Tsang has a large wide film that opens with two children twisting around each other until they get to a field, slipping in crocs and makin eyes at the camera. it is called ‘We hold where study,’ n made in 2017. The image splits and on the right there r two dancers in an empty hall and on the left we stay in the field where a new body, tattooed and crying black, is fronting on the camera. there are small mirrors hiding amongst the grass. And everybody is moving in a way thats closer to dance than Performance Art;; it makes me feel relieved.

I enjoy the backdrops, like different settings in the same game.

so i watch Tsang’s dance sequences, not making any sense of how she has related each movement to its section title. ‘Assembly Line,’ ‘Consultant' etc. That’s an arty level i’m not aspiring to today, i’m not even thinking past the surface - half because i am low energy this morning and half bc the image is so activvvvvve. The left and right shots are being bent into one another, the overlap is faded and either warped or I’m imagining that. ‘We hold where study’ is down as two-channel but that comes off as art pedantics on the wall text, and unfair really when this film is 1 together like an oil puddle (an aesthetic that for me has long felt deviantart/tumblr/kind of emo?, but now belongs to itself again. i do NOT know what has changed in my life for me to see oil puddles differently, honestly. even rainbows feel genuine to me right now). but I’m watching the overlap and my eyes are being pulled around because the LITERAL camera action is amazingggg and swwwwwift. i swear to god there is a camera operator flying across the hall and the field, hello r u powered by Youtuber steady cam technology? the camera work is to be applauded clap clap, an unusual part to acknowledge but if u’ve seen it u’ll know;; how that movement is alien and careful (like the mad frame rate on the Finesse bruno mars/cardi b music video, but here tender and not poppy, being magic thru space).

    * and the two dancers in the hall, how they work together. it’s like knowing what goes on behind closed doors. How do you lean on each other? What do you do with your bodies? When you were little did you ever lie down and suspend someone else above you like an aeroplane? Or were you the one in flight? and what does it take to make that all collapse? is it words, actions, politics, trauma, or you can do it all on your own? this is where sincerity is.


with the very good dance pair and the camera skill i am fulfilled, this is good art, and that’s before the sound accompanying it or the way the whole thing tastes (between open and stormy palm tree skies and youtube dance studio channel, but also just melancholy);; the genuinely trying aura of Tsang’s work.

    I went to the exhibition straight from therapy. it was hail-stoning outside, and I was walking completely inside-out with my coat on, hoping I saw nobody I knew because could i be fucked using my words. Someone told me that following their therapy sessions they’d always sit on the same bench and have a smoke to give themselves time to re-adjust to the world of human behaviours. they recommended i find my own bench, and i haven’t yet but today this film was its stand-in. art became a safe moment to consider the fucked-upness of things. ~.


(FACT also commissioned Tsang’s short documentary on Kelela upstairs and it’s brilliant but in a professionalised way that i’m not in the mood to write about right now. I will say tho that i hope fact does more solo shows like this and stops the bad group ones. thats my 2 cents/pence goodbye xxxxx)

b͓̽e͓̽s͓̽t͓̽ ͓̽v͓̽i͓̽e͓̽w͓̽e͓̽d͓̽ ͓̽i͓̽n͓̽ ͓̽l͓̽a͓̽n͓̽d͓̽s͓̽c͓̽a͓̽p͓̽e͓̽
͓̽o͓̽r͓̽ ͓̽o͓̽n͓̽ ͓̽a͓̽ ͓̽d͓̽e͓̽s͓̽k͓̽t͓̽o͓̽p͓̽

{ 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔬𝔫𝔩𝔶 𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔰𝔬𝔫 𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔚𝔥𝔦𝔱𝔢 𝔓𝔲𝔟𝔢 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔰𝔱𝔦𝔩𝔩 𝔢𝔵𝔦𝔰𝔱 𝔦𝔰 𝔟𝔢𝔠𝔞𝔲𝔰𝔢 𝔰𝔬𝔪𝔢 𝔬𝔣 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔡𝔢𝔯𝔰 𝔠𝔥𝔬𝔬𝔰𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔰𝔲𝔭𝔭𝔬𝔯𝔱 𝔲𝔰 𝔢𝔞𝔠𝔥 𝔪𝔬𝔫𝔱𝔥 𝔳𝔦𝔞 𝔓𝔞𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔬𝔫. 𝔚𝔢 𝔰𝔬𝔪𝔢𝔱𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔰 𝔡𝔬 𝔱𝔞𝔩𝔨𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔧𝔬𝔟𝔰 𝔟𝔲𝔱 𝔓𝔞𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔬𝔫 𝔦𝔰 𝔥𝔬𝔴 𝔴𝔢 𝔤𝔢𝔱 𝔭𝔞𝔦𝔡 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔞𝔠𝔱𝔲𝔞𝔩 𝔴𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢 - 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔯𝔢𝔳𝔦𝔢𝔴𝔰 𝔫 𝔞𝔯𝔱 𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔰𝔬 𝔬𝔫. 𝔄𝔫𝔡 𝔦𝔱'𝔰 𝔰𝔬 𝔦𝔪𝔭𝔬𝔯𝔱𝔞𝔫𝔱 𝔱𝔬 𝔲𝔰 2 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔴𝔢 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔰𝔱𝔞𝔶 𝔦𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔭𝔢𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔫𝔱 𝔠𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔦𝔠𝔰 𝔴𝔦𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔱𝔦𝔢𝔰 𝔱𝔬 𝔟𝔦𝔤 𝔣𝔲𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔯𝔰 𝔬𝔯 𝔦𝔫𝔰𝔱𝔦𝔱𝔲𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫𝔰, 𝔭𝔲𝔟𝔩𝔦𝔠 𝔬𝔯 𝔭𝔯𝔦𝔳𝔞𝔱𝔢. 𝔗𝔥𝔞𝔫𝔨 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔟𝔢𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔬𝔩𝔡 𝔱𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔶 𝔭𝔞𝔱𝔯𝔬𝔫𝔰 - 𝔴𝔢'𝔩𝔩 𝔡𝔬 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔟𝔢𝔰𝔱 𝔱𝔬 𝔭𝔯𝔬𝔡𝔲𝔠𝔢 𝔮𝔲𝔞𝔩𝔦𝔱𝔶 𝔬𝔲𝔱𝔭𝔲𝔱; 𝔴𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔢 𝔰𝔱𝔲𝔣𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔦𝔰 𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔣𝔲𝔩 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔰𝔦𝔫𝔠𝔢𝔯𝔢. }

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