Galaxia Wang

 

THE FOX, une performance prolétarienne

 9-10 may, 2015 

 Instituto Svizzero di Roma,

http://www.performanceproletarians.com 

EN:

The Fox (2015) is a performance in three phases, preceded by an introductory sequence which functions as a prelude. It was conceived by Galaxia Wang as part of the second episode of Performance Proletarians!!!, a project by Lili Reynaud-Dewar and Benjamin Valenza presented at the Rome Swiss Institute on May 9 and 10, 2015. 

The performance takes the form of a tacit dialogue between the artist and a video projected behind his back. During its course, the viewer is confronted with an allegorical landscape inhabited by a number of mythical creatures, resulting from the hybridisation of human and non-human beings.

The performance begins with the figure of a fox, protagonist of the prelude and of the first sequence. The transition between the two is marked by the apparition of the fox’s doppelgänger: a silhouette barely detectable in the dark, which moves across the space dialoguing with the fox through gestures. It is the artist himself, who, wearing a fox hat that mystifies his human appearance, performs a ritual based on mimicking the animal, and aimed at enabling its incarnation.

As the silent dance between the fox and the artist ends, a second hybridised subject, deriving from the combination of a woman and a waterfall, enters the scene. The introduction of this new figure marks the transition to the second phase of the performance, vivified by a composite musical assemblage: the chant of the waterfall-woman, in which the viewer can recognise the lyrics and melody of “Space Cake”—a song composed by the artist in his artificial language Colossia—followed by a multilayered extradiegetic soundtrack. This latter is composed by the overlapping of four elements: the sound of the waterfall; the voice of an Icelandic old man reciting an ancient poem entitled Time and the Water; the classical music composed by Paganini; and the voice of Galaxia himself, who, sitting in the room, mimics the call of frogs and ducks. Once again, the artist interacts with the figures projected behind him via his own symbolic metamorphosis: he wears a long silver wig that also appears in the video as an attribute of the waterfall-woman, of whom Galaxia represents the double.

As we enter the third and conclusive moment of the performance, the fox and its alter ego return, fulfilling the cyclical structure of the work. The complex body of sound characterising the previous phase is now replaced by the pop song The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?), by the Norwegian duo Ylvis—a 2013 Youtube top trending video. The oneiric atmosphere which has connoted the space so far, suddenly dissolves. In the new frenetic acoustic regime, Galaxia breaks the stasis and begins to fold paper into leaf-shaped origami—a recurring element in his work, that can also be found in the installation Leaf (2015). 

Reading the performance through the interpretive lens of sound and language, we can follow a trajectory heading towards expansion and standardisation. If the point of departure is Colossia, an artificial language, private and even intimate to the artist, the audience is gradually led to experience Icelandic, a language which is collective, but spoken by a reduced number of people, and finally English, the world hegemonic system of expression and communication. This progressive loss of linguistic singularity—hinting at a consequent loss of complexity of thought, which such a singularity implies—is paralleled by a progressive flattening of the acoustic experience, culminating with a pop hit which, in October 2017, touched over 700 million views on Youtube. An ironic commentary on the way mass-production produces first and foremost a dilution of particularities and the experience of sameness.

FR:

The Fox est une performance en trois « actes » précédés par un prélude introductif. Elle a été conçue par Galaxia Wang lors du second épisode de Performamce Proletarians!!!, un projet de Lili Reynaud-Dewar et Benjamin Valenza présenté à l’Institut Suisse de Rome le 9 et 10 mai 2015.

La performance prend la forme d’un dialogue tacite entre l’artiste et une vidéo projetée derrière son dos. Pendant son déroulement, le spectateur est confronté avec un paysage allégorique habité par un certain nombre de créatures mythiques, résultant d’une hybridation entre êtres humains et non-humains.

La performance commence avec la figure du renard, protagoniste du prélude et du premier acte. La transition entre les deux est marquée par l’apparition du double du renard : une silhouette à peine détectable dans l’ombre qui se meut à travers l’espace et dialogue avec le renard par le geste. C’est l’artiste lui-même, qui, arborant une bonnet de renard qui mystifie son apparence humaine, accomplie un rituel basé sur l’imitation de l’animal afin de l’incarner.

Alors que la dance silencieuse entre le renard et l’artiste prend fin, un second sujet hybride, issu de la conjonction d’une femme et d’une cascade, entre en scène. L’introduction de cette nouvelle figure marque la transition du deuxième acte de la performance, galvanisée par un assemblage musical composite : le chant de la femme-cascade, dans lequel le spectateur peut reconnaitre les paroles et la mélodie de Space Cake, une chanson écrite par l’artiste dans sa langue inventée Colossia, suivi par une bande sonore multicouches et extra diégétique. Cette dernière est composée par la superposition de quatre éléments : le son de la cascade, le son de la voix d’un islandais récitant un poème ancien intitulé Time and the Water ; une musique composée par Paganini ; et, enfin, la voix de Galaxia lui-même, qui, assis dans l’espace, imite les cris de la grenouille et du canard. Encore une fois, l’artiste interagit avec les figures projetées derrière lui par ses propres métamorphoses symboliques : il porte une longue perruque argentée qui apparait aussi dans la vidéo comme attribut de la femme-cascade, dont Galaxia représente le double.

Entamant le troisième et dernier acte de la performance, le renard et son alter ego reviennent, complétant la géométrie cyclique de l’œuvre. Le matériel sonore et complexe qui caractérisait l’acte précédant se voit remplacé par une chanson pop The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?) par le duo norvégien Ylvis, tirée d’une vidéo Youtube trendy de 2013. L’atmosphère onirique que connotait l’espace jusqu’ici, soudainement se dissout. Dans le nouveau régime sonore et frénétique, Galaxia rompt la stase et commence à plier des papiers en forme de feuilles, un élément récurrent dans son travail qui se trouve aussi dans l’installation Leaf (2015).

Interprétant la performance à travers le prisme du son et des langues, nous pouvons suivre une trajectoire menant à l’expansion et à l’uniformisation. Si le point de départ est le Colossia, une langue artificielle, intime à l’artiste, le public est graduellement entrainer à expérimenter l’islandais, une langue collective mais parlée par un nombre relativement réduit de personnes, et finalement l’anglais, système hégémonique mondial d’expression et de communication. Cette perte progressive de particularités langagières, indiquant en conséquence l’amincissement de la complexité de la pensée que de telles particularités présupposent, est mise en parallèle avec l’aplatissement progressif de l’expérience sonore, culminant avec un tube qui, en octobre 2017, atteint plus de 700 millions de vues sur Youtube. Un commentaire ironique sur la manière dont la production de masse cause d’abord et avant tout la dilution des particularités dans l’océan de la similitude uniformisée.

Text written by: 

Lucas Cantori, Camilla Paolino

 

 

Textes pour 3 parties de la performance : 

1, space cake 

Oetäadm xjhzibpti

jié li köchtun vç iioiev is-l oetäadta hyhshinn

täad snrosofuu

Mmözu l étun vizrot x j-rehrüom, li zhésèfh iioiev iikgédee th hyhoann. Esh hç roih pq ép i.

Mmözu m étunx hç zhnoieh> lé li gnhroccnb. 

Fcroo tïraééx j-röeutrnf ihccokev li aoebäo, iioiew jéht t-zhckw> lé, is-li staloi j-li sässjr ivi crïéc.

lii imainhx chénoiew< x wom> yiyev oz jikar> ll utomx, fcroo-röeutrnf kussyiyoiev< th sösztoiev>, lii éex éeoiew> i lèu sösztn.

Li fyhzn ior-khigoiev>, îkakoieh j-kéeh> cor-x zhth<. Yadiaoieh> j-zhdth> lii utomx e-li hgikäa. Yadiaoieh> j- raahèh> ioröo-h uossyïh> jié-ioröo uüht.

zhhunisuh> hie’zheu li pyluluu, zhtoieh< täorhev th Fcroo tïraééx yélfhééoiew>, jiéraoebäo épp kôhkô, îkakoieh j-kéeh> yroev cor-zhdth> e-li hgikäa.

hzhtrjaoieh> yroev mmö éj, eumtes* vizrot x rgete bäm stäsjsé oz jvree. Ihev thtokah>,gzfh> th huuhoah>.

keanv ivi li rord x eumnv<, oowktuh>, pumt-li rordsösz.

Hç éeoh> lii ngnissünx usii ropvx ii ktu, li oyattöm iioiev pmzom, li cöloo iioiev thta is-zuhon*.

Roih éeo lii utomx ngnissx, hç roih rot ép utoox unäloix, chén’iiu li oetäadm ropv ii ssössozt i éö tïraéé. Keanv zhtoieh<.

Space cake

It started as a normal dessert 

sweet crisp 

No effect after an hour, sane. So I added a piece 

After three hours I was in bed 

Various parts of the body, especially the heart was pulled up off the feeling as a kind of soul force 

My fingers can not grasp objects or closed, convulsions shake. The eyes see things a little twisted. 

In the fight against my will, my eyes desperately does not want to sleep, I want to compete with this kind of strength, I want to make me stay in my body 

I'm stubborn fatigue, sleep while the body rising. Extreme fear in my heart, I have to open our eyes to this power struggle again. 

I struggled repeatedly over a long period without any illusion or floating in this wonderful time, competing only with difficulty and yelling for help. 

Followed by stomach pain, vomiting, stomach cramps probably was 

I saw the shooting vomit, pantothenic acid taste, color and consistency of cake were the same as before. 

Having seen the vomit, I found security. Probably the cake is digested only a small part. 

Then I slept

2, time and the water &magic paganini

video of the chute , video of the sea boys and the poem in icelandic 

with textes in english translation 

Timmen og Vatnið

The Time and the Water

Tíminn er eins og vatnið,

   og vatnið er kalt og djúpt

   eins og vitund mín sjálfs.

   Og tíminn er eins og mynd,

   sem er máluð af vatninu

   og mér til hálfs.

   Og tíminn og vatnið

   renna veglaust til þurrðar

   inn í vitund mín sjálfs.

Time is like the water,

   and the water is cold and deep

   like my own consciousness.

   And time is like a picture,

   which is painted of water,

   half of it by me.

   And time and the water

   flow trackless to extinction

   into my own consciousness.

Sólin,

sólin var hjá mér,

eins og grannvaxin kona,

á gulum skóm.

Í tvítugu djúpi

svaf trú mín og ást

eins og tvílitt blóm.

Og sólin gekk

yfir grunlaust blómið

á gulum skóm.

The sun,

The sun was with me,

like a slender woman, 

in yellow shoes.

Sunken in the second decade of life

my belief and love slept

like a two toned flower.

And the sun walked

over the unsuspecting flower 

in yellow shoes.

About the poem work

 Timmen og Vatnið by Steinn Steinarr (1908–1958)

 

 

3, what does the fox say

Dog goes woof

Cat goes meow

Bird goes tweet

and mouse goes squeek

Cow goes moo

Frog goes croak

and the elephant goes toot

Ducks say quack

and fish go blub

and the seal goes ow ow ow ow ow

But theres one sound

That no one knows

What does the fox say?

Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

What the fox say?

Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!

Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!

Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!

What the fox say?

Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!

Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!

Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!

What the fox say?

Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!

Tchoff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!

Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!

What the fox say?

Big blue eyes

Pointy nose

Chasing mice

and digging holes

Tiny paws

Up the hill

Suddenly youre standing still

Your fur is red

So beautiful

Like an angel in disguise

But if you meet

a friendly horse

Will you communicate by

mo-o-o-o-orse?

mo-o-o-o-orse?

mo-o-o-o-orse?

How will you speak to that

ho-o-o-o-orse?

ho-o-o-o-orse?

ho-o-o-o-orse?

What does the fox say?

Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow!

Chacha-chacha-chacha-chow!

Chacha-chacha-chacha-chow!

What the fox say?

Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!

Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!

Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!

What the fox say?

A-hee-ahee ha-hee!

A-hee-ahee ha-hee!

A-hee-ahee ha-hee!

What the fox say?

A-oo-oo-oo-ooo!

Woo-oo-oo-ooo!

What does the fox say?

The secret of the fox

Ancient mystery

Somewhere deep in the woods

I know youre hiding

What is your sound?

Will we ever know?

Will always be a mystery

What do you say?

Youre my guardian angel

Hiding in the woods

What is your sound?

 

 

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