Participants: Cai Yuan, Jian Jun Xi, 100 volunteers and the Øresund Klezmer Balkan Orchestra
Duration: September 5th 1,5 hours & September 12th 4,5 hours
In their social performances at Lilith Performance Studio, Cai Yuan and Jian Jun Xi examine and exemplify the power of the collective decision during two days.
In the first part, on September 5th, Yuan and Xi persuade a hundred persons to join them in performing a seemingly pointless action; to wheel car tyres from one place to another. Accompanied by the Øresund Klezmer Balkan Orchestra, a carnivalesque entourage rolls tyres through the streets of Malmö starting from the square Möllevångstorget. In Gustav Adolfs torg, the tyres are released in the middle of the square and the rollers disappear into the crowds.
In the second part, on September 12th, they continue their examination but now from a different perspective. From a positive atmosphere the weekend before, to an unsafe situation both for themselves and the audience. For several hours, Yuan and Xi preach from the Bible and the Communist Manifesto in the streets of Malmö. Finally, twenty minutes too late, they reach Lilith Performance Studio where the audience is waiting patiently, sitting among an abundance of tomatoes, eggs, watermelons and bottles of ketchup and soya sauce. Yuan and Xi continue their loud recitations. After a while a woman stands up and spurts ketchup in their faces. The atmosphere is transformed, more people join in and throw everything there is at the artists. Louder and louder Cai Yuan and Jian Jun Xi chant words like “mercy” and “unite”, forming a continual mantra, a sound that never ends.
Cai Yuan and Jian Jun Xi (born in 1956 and 1962 in China, work and live in the UK since the 80’s) began their collaboration as a duo under the name of Mad for Real in 1999. Their first piece Two Artists Jump on Tracey Emin’s Bed was an attack against the Turner Prize exhibition and against Tracey Emin’s installation My Bed at Tate Gallery in London. Cai Yuan and Jian Jun Xi offer resistance to the accepted order. Their works continually question the relationship of the individual to established power. Everyday actions and items are transformed, becoming radical gestures of humour. The works invite comparisons to earlier progressive movements within art, but the historical, linguistic and political context in their art often relates specifically to their place of origin: China.