Live performance, 1h / Audio piece, 20 min by Keng Chen (Performance, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou), Nikolai Eneas Prawdzic (Dramaturgy/Theatre, Zurich University of the Arts), Dino Radoncic (Design, Zurich University of the Arts), Nathalie Stirnimann (Fine Arts, Zurich University of the Arts), Stefan Stojanovic (Fine Arts, Zurich University of the Arts), Wen-Chi Liu (Transdisciplinary Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts)
To break given rules takes the same effort as to follow them.
Forbidden fruit is a phrase that originates from the Book of Genesis (16:2 – 17). In the narrative, Adam and Eve eat the fruit of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, which they had been commanded not to do by God.
Video documentation, 22 min
The work is composed of a live performance happening on the “Richland Garden ” buildings running simultaneously with an audio piece to be heard with headphones by the audience looking in direction of the buildings.
As an extension of the previous project Keng, you swim!?, the topic of restricted access to rooftops in Hong Kong is used as a metaphor to speak about the given structures, authorities and security. The architecture is here to protect our bodies, so what does it mean to step out of it? How do we face the unknown? And by estimating the consequences of our actions, how far are we ready to go and for what purposes?
To read more about this group’s work process, please click here to read the portrait A day with… .
Result/State of play
Audio piece – text extract (scroll down for Chinese version):
– Do you speak english? I’m calling to ask for permission to use the rooftop or Richland Garden for an art project. – Call again tomorrow.
You will take the elevator and pass that rooftop door.
As simple as that.
Why do I want to go there?
Am I only driven by curiosity?
I still don’t really have a clear reason to do it.
Maybe I am driven by curiosity.
Sure I have reasons!
There are so many closed doors in my life.
Why am I so afraid to open them?
It’s simply going on the roof.
– Do you speak english? I’m calling to ask for permission to use the rooftop or Richland Garden for an art project. – No, it’s forbidden, sorry.
So in the end it would be like robbing a bank..
C’mon, I am thinking about all this as if it was is something illegal!
But it is illegal!
People do worse, every day.
Why would I have to break exactly this rule?
I could break any other rule existing in Hong Kong.
Is this roof so existential for me?
The architecture is here to protect our bodies.
Rules are given and I decide to step-out of that.
It’s something that remains.
The roof as a border.
Once up there,
what should I do?
Why shouldn’t Adam and Eve eat the apple?
Nobody asked how they ate the apple.
– Do you speak english? I’m calling to ask for permission to use the rooftop or Richland Garden for an art project. – Yes, ok laa. – Really yes? – Yes, yes, no problem.
If all people would have access to every rooftop in the world.
It would be a mess.
But instead of taking this challenge and try, it’s a no for everybody.
It’s a no for me too!
How do I face the consequences?
Why am I thinking about all this?
Kids just do!
Like that one time when mom told me not to touch the plate because I will burn my fingers.
And when I did, it was only warm.
I mean, of course you don’t touch a hot plate if someone tells you not to do so.
but again, it depends on how hot the plate actually is.
The Hong Kong laws and rules are like strangers to me. If i want to interact with them, i need to get to know them.
What consequences am I afraid to face then?
there are some limits I wouldn’t cross just for the sake of this art piece.
What if the security guard attacks me violently?
or maybe I’m naive.
I really don’t see what actually could happen.
I’m not violating the building, spraying slogans on the walls or leaving traces.
I’m just standing on a roof!
Is it clever enough to break a rule within the frame of this art piece?
Can I question this in a different way?
Will this piece in the art world be recognised as a good work?
or I am showing my moral supremacy as an artist and tell people how to live their lives?
Am I repeating history again?
People could compare me to these imperialist guys, telling people in Africa, America or Asia what’s good and bad.
No, fuck this, this is not me.
I don’t belong to any kind of a nation.
Maybe I should choose the building I live in.
Then, it would affect my daily life.
But I don’t want to break a rule!
Am I not breaking rules on a daily basis?
So should I ask for permission or not?
What if they never answer, or say no?
– Do you speak english? I’m calling to ask for permission to use the rooftop or Richland Garden for an art project. – Call again on Monday.