A/Eltern 2 Guilin

I wash clothes on the river Li. Then I collect stones and shells from the river. I cut the washed linen into squares and pack the stones into the pieces of fabric and arrange them in concentric circles in my basket. I cut a plate-sized piece of cloth out of my dress and with a shell I cut a spiral into the skin around my navel. The rest of the clothes I tie on my head. On the way back to the Residenzy, I cut strips off my dress and tie them to fences, piles, trees along the way ... Arriving at the residency, my dress is almost gone. Here I unwrap the stones and hang the pieces of cloth on a leash. I throw the stones one by one into the pond of place and observe exactly the concentric circles that each stone creates when it hits the surface of the water.

The rural women in China, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, wash their laundry by the river, Still? Heavy-laden e-vespas with loading areas, on which next to chickens, ducks, rice and vegetables still grandma and grandpa sit, sneaking silently through the chaotically densely traveled streets. A land of contrasts. I'm confused.
Do I, as an outsider, only perceive these contradictions as such, or is it enough motivation to do things the same way as they have always done and not otherwise?
Does realisation of the existing happens only by a solipsitic view? Only what I myself perceive is real. Also in the performance A/Eltern in Macao, I have my doubts about whether I as a stranger from Europe can even understand here in China, the inner view of my counterpart or if I judge the people through my filter from an outside standing person.
The spiral that circles around its own navel. The concentric rings that each stone causes when it hits the surface of the water. No matter where in the world. Do we have that in common? The women here and myself? That we cause with a similar action, if it is simple enough, the same reaction in the world?
I mark my way back to leave traces behind. Even a very anomaleous action would go unnoticed here. I do not want to influence life here, or be a part of it. I just want to observe and understand.

September 2018
OPEN, International Performance Art Festival
Guilin, China

Pics: Wen Weidong