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Vienne Chan - Last things

2:00, 2011, Experimental
Geese on the edge of the sea. In the presence of the intruder, the geese move comfortably as a calm and silent entity in this unnatural habitat, in a dignified retreat or perhaps making gracious headway. Is this the only benign endgame possible?

Vienne Chan was born in Hong Kong and studied the philosophy of religion in Canada. In 2007, She began making experimental videos independently. Marked by a personal approach that often inflects an intimate relationship with the subject matter, Viennes work has been shown extensively in new media art festivals, such as Les Instants Video (Marseille), Festival Images Contre Nature (Marseille), Re:New Festival (Copenhagen) and Kunstfilmtag (Düsseldorf). Her works have appeared in publications such as Bref Magazine (France) and The Future of Art in the Post-Digital Age (University of Chicago Press). In 2010, she was awarded a Pépinières européenes pour jeunes
artistes residency, which was hosted at Plataforma Revólver and Clube Português de Artes e Ideias in Lisbon, Portugal.

The conventional understanding of documentary implies a specific expression of realism and of objectivity. My work proposes to shift the documentary focus to a documental one, one of subjective expressions of reality. There is a certainty that can be found in subjective experience that cannot be articulated, for the most intense experiences cannot be sufficiently expressed in words due to the multi-dimensional nature of human experience. In clinical practices, physicians are trained to observe a patients non-verbal gestures when measuring their pain level because a patients verbal description of his or her pain is considered as unreliable, despite the seductive clarity which language seems to offer. The physician must find the patients experience from a multi-dimensional perspective and find a bridge that connects his knowledge to the patients experience. In that interaction, the physician begins to understand the hurt; the physician may not know the hurt itself for it is not his experience, but there is now a more accurate way to relate to the patient meaningfully before responding. I may be pointing out the obvious, but this process is its own experience every time it happens. In a similar vein, that is what I hope to do with my work. I capture the reality I see, and use various techniques to try to build that bridge that connects me to the others experience. My work is a private “language” that does not fit into a schema of a clarity that simplifies complexity for the sake of efficient communication - perhaps it should not even be called a language. It is always a personal reaction to an amalgamation of circumstances. Initially working as a video artist inspired by cinematic works such as those by Philippe Grandrieux and Marina de Van, whose works go beyond the transmission of information to physical and visceral experiences, I am now increasingly drawn to practices in which the personal becomes public, such as in the work of Bas Jan Ader; and in Levinas spirit of the Ethics of the Other, I am interested in doing so in public spaces as a possible method to show how the personal can be shared without imposition. My work is my relationship with that which is external to me, and when presented to the audience, I hope that by being an experience, my work can be a meaningful mediator between the audience and a reality that is not theirs.


DirectorVienne ChanProducerVienne Chan

CountryHong KongEdition2012

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