Conceptual Biography of Chris Mann
Workshop, performance
Liquid Architecture, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne; UNSW Art and Design, Sydney
In collaboration with Warren Burt, Jim Denley, Eva Karczag, Rik Rue, John Shone, Amanda Stewart, David Watson, Jule Vincent, Elizabeth Millington, Caroline Anderson, William McBride, Nathan Gray, Hayley May Bracken, David Egan, Anatol Pitt, Brett Thompson, Andrew Brooks, Tom Smith, Astrid Lorange, Heather Contant, Clare Cooper, Ivan Cheng, among others.
Over the course of one year, Hong-Kai Wang has transformed transcriptions of her interviews with senior artist Chris Mann and a group of his long-term friends and collaborators into scripts for actors, with whom she works in the performance of Conceptual Biography of Chris Mann. In this way, the artist’s friendship with her subject, developed in private, is taken into the public sphere, where it can open onto the political. However, this decentred, distributed authorial approach produces various tensions – formally, at the level of the narrative approach, between the truth claims of biography and the dramatic imperatives of live performance; and socially, by estranging the interviewer and interviewees from their reflections and commentary on their friend, the living subject. (Danni Zuvela & Joel Stern)