Running over 48 continuous hours at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 48HR Incident is a program of performance art and live actions initiated or performed by artists from Australia, Asia and the Pacific.
Challenging conceptual and social frameworks that surround the position of the individual in relation to the group, 48HR Incident presents a series of works ranging from artistic interventions through to longer
durational performances. Participating artists have drawn upon contested historical narratives, political provocations and social situations to conceive and present works specifically for the context of 4A, taking
into account dynamics of space, geography and social relations in and outside of the gallery. 48HR Incident considers the impact of these actions on the decisions that individuals and groups make, avoid or otherwise
oppose in the daily act of living.
Conceived as the third and final component of MASS GROUP INCIDENT, 48HR Incident is in many ways a culmination of the discussion that occurred during the development of this broader curatorial project, in
particular how ephemeral, interdisciplinary and performative artforms embody real social conditions or frictions. Equally, 48HR Incident is an opportunity to continue 4A’s commitment to performance art from
the region, including Dadang Christanto’s Survivor performance and touring program (2012-2013); Eunhye Huang’s It Without A Blink (2011); Tatsumi Orimoto’s Oil Can (2010); Young Sun Han’s 24HR Embrace (2011); and Shigeyuki Kihara’s Talanoa: Walk The Walk #V (2010).
48HR Incident is a call to action, a test of audiences’ will and commitment to meet the challenges that artists present them, and an admission that at the irreducible core of any collective actions or movement is the latent power of the individual.
Frances Barrett (b. 1983, Sydney, Australia) is an artist whose practice of live actions, endurance performance and sonic experimentation is informed by feminist and queer methodologies. She is currently Curator of Contemporary Performance, Campbelltown Arts Centre and is part of the artist collective Brown Council. The Wrestle (2015) is a new performance between Barrett and 48HR Incident curator, Toby Chapman. Barrett will compete to double her artist fee in a freestyle wrestle in the gallery space. Both curator and artist have trained with Commonwealth Wrestling Athlete Carissa Holland, who will also adjudicate the performance.
Dadang Christanto (b. 1957, Jakarta, Indonesia) is a prominent interdisciplinary artist working with the recurring theme of the mass disappearance of political dissidents during the 1960s in Indonesia. He has exhibited extensively in Indonesia and internationally including at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003); Biennale Jogja (2003 and 2007); and the 3rd Gwangju Biennale (2000). For 48HR Incident Christanto will present seminal performances from the last 30 years of his career; Tooth Brushing (1979), For Those Who Have Been Lost (1993) and Litsus (2004).
BLAK DOUGLAS (b. 1970, Blacktown, Australia) was born and raised on Booreberongal (Dharuk) Country but with a Dhungatti Aboriginal bloodline traceable to the mid-north coast of New South Wales. He was the first Koori artist to hold major solo exhibitions in Penrith, 1998-1999. His works are in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia. National Maritime Museum, Taipei Museum and the Aboriginal Art Museum of Utrecht. Timing is Everything (2015) draws on traditional forms such as smoking / cleansing ceremonies and the changing walking pace of society via the rhythms of clap sticks. The sound intervening into both the gallery and 4A’s street frontage proposes alternate experiences in time, coupled with an LED sign displaying pertinent phrases from the artist.
Salote Tawale (b. Suva, Fiji) explores the identity of the individual in collective systems through ‘performances of the self’, drawing on personal experiences of race, ethnicity and gender. Tawale works across the mediums of photography, video, installation and live performance. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at WestSpace, Melbourne (2014); the Indonesian Contemporary Art Network, Yogyakarta (2014); Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne (2013); and Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (2007). For 48HR Incident Tawale will perform Celebrations and Sympathies, Studies in Culture Part 3, drawing links between the narratives and cultural expressions found within traditional Fijian Lali (wooden drums), popular musicals and Hip Hop culture.
Latai Taumoepeau (b. Sydney, Australia) is a Punake – body-centred performance artist – whose practice tells the stories of her homelands: the Island Kingdom of Tonga, and her birthplace, the Eora Nation. Her work explores race, class and the female body politic. Dark Continent (2015) is a new performance by Taumoepeau which involves the artist inhabiting the ground floor gallery for the duration of the program and employing spray tanning techniques as an exploration of ritualistic dark skin practices and markings of nationalism in Australia.
Tony Schwensen (b. 1970, Sydney, Australia) is one of Australia’s foremost performance artists. His work examines contemporary culture through the use of his own body as a performative object, often reflecting on themes such as masculinity, the working class and Australian identity. SCABLAND (2015), conceived especially for 48HR Incident, continues Schwensen’s interest in the history of the labour movement and its correlation to the emergence of a leisure class in Australian history, through a 12-hour durational performance.
Abdullah M.I. Syed (b. 1974, Karachi, Pakistan) is a contemporary artist and designer, working between Sydney, Karachi and New York. His art practice weaves the narratives of East and West, seamlessly knitting together art historical references and concerns from each. The performance work, Bucking and Laundering (2015) situates the artist in a major global metropolis, his dapper appearance countering preconceived notions of the artistic persona, as Syed attempts to eat and stuff his mouth with a stack of dollar bills, slowly at first and then forcibly as his body attempts to reject the material, gagging, coughing, but persevering nonetheless.
JD Reforma (b. 1988, Sydney, Australia) is an artist interested in the relationship between art and leisure, creating sculptures and installations as a social critique of material creation and product consumption. His works are primarily created from everyday materials and reflect upon the perceived value of art, challenging the physical act of viewing and consuming art. A Novel Merchant(2015) is an exploration of the role of distribution in sustaining an economy in which it is increasingly difficult to determine the complicity of artists in so-called ‘pretend activism’.
Wok The Rock & Lara Thoms (b. 1975, Madiun, Indonesia; and b. 1983 Sydney, Australia) are artists interested in experimentation within collective space and social environments who are collaborating for the first time for 48HR Incident. Wok The Rock lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and held his first solo exhibition in 2003 at Ruang MES 56, a non-profit institution he co-founded in 2002 and is now the director of. Lara Thoms is a Melbourne-based artist creating engaging site-specific art and is an Artistic Associate of Aphids, a contemporary art collective with an interest in performance, social engagement and site specificity.
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo is considered a ‘metalhead’ and owns every album by Metallica. In 1993 heavy metal concerts were banned in Java, following a riot at a Metallica concert at Lebuk Bulus stadium in Jakarta. Many fans considered the concert ticket price too high and set cars and a shopping mall on fire until the stadium was opened to everyone. Their new work, Jakarta Whiplash ’93 (re -revisited) (2015) questions the political views of Indonesian ‘metalheads’ and Metallica fans worldwide through both performance and the creation of a line of contemporary ‘merchandise’. The merch commemorates the ’93 riot, and has a dual purpose of being both a sentimental souvenir and useful in a current riot situation. These items will be available for sale throughout the show as well as through Metallica fan sites and Indonesian music distribution.
Samson Young (b. 1979, Hong Kong) is an artist-composer who, after completing a Ph.D. in Music Composition at Princeton University, creates art that breaches disciplinary divides. His work ranges from audio-visual projects to live performance yet is anchored in a practice of sound art. For Nocturne (2015), Young has collected and edited together a series of YouTube clips of night bombings (Gaza Strip, ISIS, Gulf War) and removed the audio track. The artist then performs a live soundtrack using domestic devices and ‘foley’ techniques, with the audience experiencing the performance through a broadcasted FM radio signal, accessible throughout the building.
Fiona McGregor, “Asia-Australia; art, conscience, action,” Realtime, 13 August 2015.
Sue Wang, “4A Centre for Contemporary Asian art announces “48HR Incident” opening 29 May,” CAFA Art Info, May 26 2015.
Meggan Turner, “4A Centre Announces Two-Day Program of Live Art Performance,” The Brag, April 29 2015.
Nicholas Forrest, “4A’s Performance Art Live Action “48HR Incident” for Sydney,” Blouin Art Info, May 22 2015.
Claire Finneran, “48HR Incident,” The Thousands, May 27 2015.
Naomi Gall, “The AU Interview: Samson Young (Hong Kong) discusses his involvement in “48HR Incident” and his work “Nocturne,” The AU Review (online), May 29 2015.
Frances Barrett, “Canvas #036 – Metal Wonderlands & Dark Continents,” Canvas on FBI 94.5 (radio and online podcast), May 31 2015.
Kate Milton, “4A Presents 48HR Incident,” Broadsheet.
48HR Incident is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; supported by the City of Sydney Cultural Grants Program; and supported by Museums & Galleries NSW and Gordon Darling Foundation. Lara Thoms and Wok The Rock’s project ‘Jakarta Whiplash ’93 Re-Revisited’ was developed during a residency in Yogyakarta as part of Gertrude Contemporary’s Indonesia/Australia exchange project #banyakbanyak.