Lost Islands

Performance: 2 hours at Houston Experimental Action Performance Art Festival, Houston, 2017

 

Chun Hua Catherine Dong uses gun to point at her audience when an audience enters her performance space. Dong wears military suit and her face is covered by deer hair from a taxidermy

Chun Hua Catherine Dong uses gun to point at her audience when an audience enters her performance space. Dong wears military suit and her face is covered by deer hair from a taxidermy

Chun Hua Catherine Dong uses gun to point at her audience when an audience enters her performance space. Dong wears military suit and her face is covered by deer hair from a taxidermy

I sit/ stand on top of a dark staircase behind a door, wearing military suit and hold a rifle, my face is covered by deer hair from a taxidermy. Only one audience is allowed to enter the space each time. When one open the door to enter the space, one sees a gun pointing at her/ him at the top of the staircase. When one moves, the gun follows. The audience is always targeted until the audience leaves the space.

“Others pieces in the festival were more explicitly political. Chun Hua Catherine Dong’s performance, which took place in Notsuoh’s narrow stairwell, was intended for one viewer at a time. It placed the viewer literally in the crosshairs of the performance: Dong, face covered and clad in camouflage, was holding a rifle aimed down at the viewer. Since there were no instructions for the piece, I was unsure of the limitations of the performance, and I began to climb the stairs. As I neared, Dong grew tense, and once I was a few steps away from her, she stood up and menacingly loomed over me. I continued to advance and ended with the gun pressing hard against my throat; I could go no further. In her piece, Dong thrust the viewer into a participatory position, switching the role of the audience and performer while alluding to the prevalence of surveillance and police brutality.”  (quote from review: Not Just Naked People: Experimental Action Performance Art Festival in Houston, by Brandon Zech, Published at Glasstive – Texas Visual Art on Feb 27th, 2017)

photo courtesy of the artist