(c)aging III Chamber 11 01

In the Residency in Guilin we perform in small rooms.
I choose a staff room with a bed. I swap the picture on the wall with a piece of weave I had brought along with me. I put an egg on the chair, on which I sit. Then I sew the remnants of a dead rat to my shirt. I spread the hair of the rat with fat on my skin on my face and arms. The rest of the inventory I rearange and light incense sticks.
I lie down on the bed, close my eyes and cross chop sticks over the belly. Later I implement a water burial for the rat by letting it glide on a piece of bark into the residency's pool. Around it there are cups in which incense burns. Slowly the rat sinks.

In this performance I deal with the issue of how people spend their twilight years.
Due to the many years of one-child policy in China, the problem of providing care for the elderly, both in terms of personal care and financial support, is on the rise.
In China, however, there is a more respectful attitude towards older people than in Europe:
"Traditionally, in Asia, it is the children who care for their parents as they age. Because respect and loyalty to the parents in China are part of the Confucian tradition and deeply rooted in the self-understanding of the people. ... Anyone who breaks with these values and traditions and, for example, accommodates the parents in the old people's home is often regarded as crooked. "(dlf24, Altwerden im Reich der Mitte, Ruth Kirchner, 2013)
The room has the number 11 01, the date of my birth. The topic of this project is for me as an aging artist to address also the precariat of my own existence.
In my own life, I am experiencing painfully that in the years since I passed the age-limit of 50 years, promotion in the field of art are more difficult to maintain and I am almost constantly confronted with existential fears.
I arange myself with the existing. Despite the restriction to the few objects and the small space, I have the feeling that tnevertheless he options of creating art are great.
With the water burial of the already long-dead rat, I decide that a new cycle begins for me and I do not surrender to a life on the verge of existence.

September 2018
OPEN, International Performance Art Festival
Guilin, China

Pics: Wen Weidong