Off the 5th Ring

Staged reading, Beijing (CHN), 2015
HD-Video, 41 min 30 sec

The script for the staged-reading is based on interviews with different Chinese people in Beijing. In order to ensure their anonymity, the script has been performed by foreigners in public space in Feijiacun, Beijing.

excerpts:

F: Every day is full of risks and uncertainty. Yes, really. I come to the BBQ and I go out meet friends. It could be safe, it could be really risky. Nobody knows. Just like last year: I went to an art event related to Hongkong and I was put into jail. In Beijing. 30 days in jail. In the detention house. Last year. In october. You know. Hongkong. Occupy central. We were in Bejing to support Hongkong. 16 artists were put into jail. I was one of them. I only went to an art event. Of course it was related to Hongkong. So what? Everybody paid attention to Hongkong. Right? The whole world is watching Hongkong. But I feel fine now.

C: It is cultural. Like confucianism. For example: If there is a question A, B, C. If you don't know the answer it's just B. I don't really know about politics. I don't really care about it. But I agree that most Chinese people just follow what other people do. A lot of people will do that. Also people of my age and I am 22. They are used to following instead of making their own choices.

E: In Chinese society people will agree with what everyone else is saying. Not everyone will have their own opinion. It's a collectivist society. It's about: We work together and we have an opinion together. We don't believe in the individual.

H: In my private space I like to speak freely. But in the public I self censor.

F: I have to.

(…)

The Mayor
Display-sculpture by Gabriele Edlbauer
with works by Cäcilia Brown, Noel Ody, Marusa Sagadin and Johanna Tinzl
Installation view, 2016
Former Post and Telegraph Office, Vienna (AT)