Monday, October 06, 2008



Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 7.30 pm, at Xujiahui Park (Metro Line 1)
Performers: Elliott Sharp, Wu Na, Wang Li Chuan, Ben Houge, Yan Jun, Bruce Gremo and Top Floor Circus
Presented as part of the Shanghai E-arts Festival 2008- Final Cut
Curated by Defne Ayas and Davide Quadrio
Shanghai E-Arts Festival Dates: October 18-22, 2008
With generous support from Pro Helvetia and Arthub

Screen Play is a video score by artist Christian Marclay in which found film footage is combined with computer animation to create a visual projection interpreted by live musicians. As Marclay says, "Moving images and graphics give musicians visual cues suggesting emotion, energy, rhythm, pitch, volume, and duration. I believe in the power of images to evoke sound." Screen Play was first presented in New York in 2005 as part of Performa 05, the city's first biennial of new visual art performance. Since then, it has traveled, as part of Performa's international touring program, to Paris, Berlin, Portugal, Denmark, and Mexico City, among other locations.

For its Shanghai premiere, which will also mark the first-ever Performa event in China, Screen Play will be interpreted by three different ensembles comprised of Chinese and international musicians. Elliott Sharp, Marclay's long-time collaborator and fellow member of the New York avant-garde music scene, will join him to play with award-winning guqin player Wu Na and Chinese opera percussionist Wang Li Chuan, both from Beijing. Shanghai-based composer and videogame audio guru Ben Houge will next perform his own interpretation of the score, exploring the various layers of digital information present in the video together with Yan Jun, a found-sound spinner and master of ambient soundscapes, and Bruce Gremo, a veteran improviser performing on his custom-made electronic flute controller, the Cilia. The opening act will be performed by Top Floor Circus, a Shanghai-based folk-cum-art-cum-punk band, which plans to explore the emotional subtexts of the score by sampling from their repertory.

"Having combined excerpts from Hollywood films to cacophonous effect in previous work, Mr. Marclay leapt back in film history, making a demonically spliced silent movie whose visually noisy pulsing black and white sequences were complicated by computer animations of bright, jumpy abstract dots, stripes and shapes reminiscent work by John Baldessari… It was an extraordinary evening of looking and listening." --Roberta Smith on Screen Play, The New York Times, 2005

As an artist and avant-garde musician, Christian Marclay has continuously explored the process of seeing and hearing music across a wide range of disciplines, including performance, visual art, and music. Since 1979 he has pioneered the use of records and turntables to create an "experimental theater of found sound," collaborating with artists including Sonic Youth, John Zorn, and Otimo Yoshihide. Over the last 20 years, Marclay has also created a variety of mixed media sculptures, often incorporating familiar objects such as stereo speakers, telephone receivers, and magnetic tape. He has had solo exhibitions at the Tate Modern, London (2004), the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (2001), and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2001), and has been included in many group exhibitions around the world.

Performa, a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization established in 2004, is dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Performa launched New York's first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, to tremendous critical and popular acclaim. In 2007, the second biennial, Performa 07, was an even greater success than the first. The next biennial, Performa 09, will take place in New York from November 1-22, 2009, featuring the work of over 100 artists at more than 80 venues across the city.

Launching on 18th October 2008 with a five-day programme of events, performances and installations across the city, the Shanghai eArts Festival will bring together some of the most exciting digital arts talent from China and around the world. Dubbed 'Urbanised Landscape', the Festival promises to build on the tremendous successes of the inaugural 2007 event, and will once again be shaped by a young creative team from Shanghai as well as leading international new media arts organisations. The Festival is set to include exhibitions of specially commissioned work in the city's museums and galleries, as well as electronic music and live performances.  

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