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Crepuscular Dreams of (Dis-) Alienation
by Chooc Ly Tan
The artist Chooc Ly Tan in conversation with curator Cédric Fauq for the opening night, 29th February.
exhibition: 29th February – 9th May (closed until further notice)
Chooc Ly Tan is a French-born Afro/Vietnamese/Cambodian artist and DJ who works across video and sound to find an experimental cadence within the personal histories, found footage, and political undertows that inform and inflect the Afro-Asian diaspora, in the face of on-going colonialism(s).
Crepuscular Dreams of (Dis-) Alienation is a collage of found and homemade audio and visual material, drawn from the artist's multiple camera devices (Gopro, DSLR, BPCC, iphone) and youtube videos, intermingling trips to visit family in Cambodia with personal material from her own unreleased music production. The audio-visual collage presents interviews from women and non-binary people of colour that include friends and family, as well as the artists’ sister. Tracing a diaspora across Paris, Algeria, Reykjavik, the Congo, Cambodia and Dublin, they critically reflect on present day considerations from the position of those who’s parents and grandparents directly experienced the colonial exploits of various European imperialisms.
The work pulses across generations with contributions from Louiza Benrezzak who reads extracts from her father’s poetry, the artists’ sister Dijana Tan, childhood friend Ida Macondo, cousins San Sokchea, Thmey Cheanich (filmed by the artists cousin San bun Theon from his smartphone), Fériel Boushaki, and Martial and friends as they make spring rolls. With a grand optimism, interviewees reflect on the aftermath of colonialism and on-going neo-colonialisms, touching upon the complexities of prejudice today, that include exoticism within popular culture, whilst foregrounding current, and future projects and aspirations of the contributors.
Part educational, part experimental documentary, the work emerges from lived experience as much as from research. A speculative thinking that syncopates online news articles with excerpts from experimental music producers, friends, family, composers and writers, as well as theoreticians.
“I believe that the real battle for people who are like me is
to occupy space, the space of discourse”
filmmaker : Louiza Benrezzak
The video was developed for the Southern Summer School, a collective project initiated by artists Dorine van Meel and Nelmarie du Preez, that brings together art practitioners and cultural workers based in South Africa, the Netherlands, and the UK. The project takes as it’s starting point an acknowledgment that the colonial involvement of the Dutch and British empire in South Africa is not only a historical fact that may be consigned to the past, but that colonialism continues to operate in the power relations very much of the present.
Short bio: Chooc Ly Tan is a French-born Afro/Vietnamese/Cambodian artist and DJ. Tan’s practice sets out to find systems or tools that navigate comprehension of the world, such as those found in logic or physics, but to re-purpose these in ways that suggest new visions of reality. Drawing on her travels and voyages, she develops inter-disciplinary socio-political performances and installations, working across moving image, DJ sets, radio podcasts and club nights. Her work has recently been shown at Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing, China; Fondation Boghossian, Brussels; and Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, UAE. As a DJ, Chooc Ly recently played at Swallow, a queer nightclub in LA; Regenerative Feedback at WORM, Rotterdam; Yellow Peril • Diaspora Disco x Eastern Margins x Chinabot at The Yard, London; Chale Wote Festival in Accra, Ghana; the Living Art Museum, in Reykjavik, Iceland, and the Black Obsidian Sound System: Club Night at Somerset House studios, London. She also runs the platform Décalé that puts on evenings of experimental, collapsing and flawless sounds/visuals.
7 February | The Tender Interval: Studies in Sound and Motion | ICA, London (DJ set)
8 February | Queering Now as part of Chinese Art Now festival 2020, Rich Mix, London (DJ set)
20 March | Progress Bar | Amsterdam, The Netherland (DJ set)
Cédric Fauq is a French curator and writer currently based in Nottingham (UK), working as Exhibition Curator at Nottingham Contemporary, where he has been an employee since September 2017 (first as Assistant Curator part-time, then full-time, until he got promoted in January 2019) and beyond. There, he worked on projects involving Linder, Elizabeth Price, Trix & Robert Haussmann and Lis Rhodes. He is one of the co-curators of the multi-chaptered project Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance. Upcoming projects include a solo-exhibition with Sung Tieu and a project on Grace Jones.
Previously, he was involved in the co-running of a project space in London (clearview.ltd); the co-curating of a Triennial (Baltic Triennial XIII); and interned at different places (David Roberts Art Foundation, Lafayette Anticipation and Galerie Crevecoeur notably). He devised projects for DOC, Paris and Sophie Tappeiner, Vienna, both in 2018. In 2019, he will be curating exhibitions at Nir Altman Gallery, Munich and Cordova, Barcelona. He published in Mousse Magazine and spoke at Tate Modern, amongst others. He studied in Paris for 5 years, supported by state bursaries and an association promoting equality of opportunities in higher education (Article 1, formerly known as Frateli) at Henri IV; Paris I University and EHESS. He then moved to London, thanks to a private-bank loan granted via a specific scheme set-up by Article 1 / Frateli. He didn’t get his degree as he wasn’t able to pay for his second year (having spent his money setting up clearview.ltd, by choice), although he completed the full course. Current research and obsessions include: questioning knowledge ownership; devising fugitive display through blackness; attending the sunset of democracy; dreaming about prison and gender abolitionism and paying his debts.