Categories: performance, solitary and porcelain.

Date: 25th March 2011
Place: MMKA Museum Voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Holland
Event: To Be Present Festival curated by Anet van de Elzen

Fragile Future is a work that proposes a dialogue with chance and asks the question ‘What future does the planet have?’. One of the sleeves of the dress worn in the performance is much longer than the other, which refers to the expression of ‘stretching your arm out further than your sleeve’ – a Catalan saying that means living above one’s economic possibilities. Sewn onto the long sleeve of the dress are 24 red painted porcelain strips that form two hexagrams from the ancient Chinese book of mutations, the I Ching. During the action, which consists of carefully wrapping the sleeve around my body by rolling over it, some of the ceramic strips are broken. At the end of the performance a reading of the I Ching is made based on the white strips that are left broken or whole, and then a reading from the I Ching is obtained.

The performance gave 4 possible readings / responses:

Hexagram 5 (Waiting): Waiting. If you are sincere / You have light and success / Perseverance brings good fortune / It furthers one to cross the great water. Clouds rise up to heaven / The image of Waiting / Thus the superior man eats and drinks / Is joyous and of good cheer.

Hexagram 40 (Deliverance) Deliverance. The southwest furthers / If there is no longer anything where one has to go / Return brings good fortune / If there is still something where one has to go / Hastening brings good fortune. Thunder and rain set in /The image of Deliverance / Thus the superior man pardons mistakes / And forgives misdeeds.

Hexagram 41 (Decrease) Decrease combined with sincerity / Brings about supreme good fortune / Without blame /One may be persevering in this / It furthers one to undertake something / How is this to be carried out? / One may use two small bowls for the sacrifice. At the foot of the mountain, the lake / The image of Decrease / Thus the superior man controls his anger /And restrains his instincts.

Hexagram 19 (Approach) Approach has supreme success / Perseverance furthers / When the eighth month comes / There will be misfortune. The earth above the lake / The image of Approach / Thus the superior man is inexhaustible / In his will to teach / And without limits / In his tolerance and protection of the people.

Images: Uma Bunnag