Wir bedauern Ihnen mitteilen zu müssen, dass das Symposium „Queering Traditions. Zeitgenössische Kunst und Exterritorialität“, das für Samstag, den 4. November 2023 im E-WERK geplant war, abgesagt werden muss.
Wir entschuldigen uns für alle Unannehmlichkeiten, die Ihnen entstanden sind. Im Voraus bezahlte Ticketgebühren werden rückerstattet.
We regret to inform you that the symposium „Queering Traditions. Contemporary Art and Exterritoriality“ scheduled for Saturday 4 November 2023 at E-WERK has to be cancelled.
We are sorry for all your inconvenience. Any prepaid ticket fees will reimbursed.
Sa 4.11.2023 | 9.30 – 18.30 Uhr | Saal, E-WERK
Die Teilnahme steht allen Interessierten offen. Anmeldung, Registrierung und Bezahlung der Tagesgebühr bitte über folgendem Link vornehmen. Eine begrenzte Anzahl von Plätzen ist an der Tageskasse am 4. November 2023 verfügbar.
20 € für Erwerbstätige
10 € für Studierende, Schüler:innen, Arbeitslose, Schwerbehinderte.
In der Tagungsgebühr sind 2 Kaffeepausen sowie ein kleiner Lunch inbegriffen.
Freiburg, Eschholzstrasse 77
Participation is open to all interested. Please register and pay in the daily fee via the following link. A limited number of places is available at the ticket office onsite at 4 November 2023.
30 € for employed persons
15 € for students, pupils, unemployed persons, severely disabled persons.
2 coffee breaks and a small lunch are included in the conference fee.
Freiburg, Eschholzstrasse 77
mit / with
Dr. Hongwei Bao (Universität Nottingham, Dr. Federico Brusadelli (Universität Neapel), Dr. Jens Damm (Universität Freiburg i. Br.), Dr. Victor Fan (King’s College, London), Prof. Dr. King-wa Fu (Universität Hongkong), Diyi Mergenthaler (Universität Zürich), Prof. Dr. Andrea Riemenschnitter (Universität Zürich), etc.
In his introduction to Extraterritoriality, Locating Hong Kong Cinema and Media, film scholar Viktor Fan defines extraterritoriality (2019: 10) in two ways:
On the one hand, Fan determines extraterritoriality as the application of the laws of an empire, of a colonial power or a nation-state, such as the UK or China, over a territory outside their own such as Hong Kong (Fan 2019: 10). Fan (2019: 10) argues that Hong Kong’s multiple political crises in the 20th and 21st century are rooted in the exercising of two contradicting legal regimes (Fan 2019: 11). The sovereignty over Hong Kong’s land-based legislation [zhuquan or ‚law of the land‘] (Fan: 2019: 11), on which the nation-building policy is based, always remained with China (Fan 2022: 726).
The administrative right [zhiquan or ‚law of the sea‘] (Fan: 2019: 11) over Hong Kong was conferred to Britain by the last Qing government between 1896 and 1997. With it Britain had the power to exercise legal authority over human subjects and their biological life extraterritorially (Fan 2019: 11). As Fan argues, Britain based its administrative right on individual liberties contradicting China’s centralist understanding of land-based rights (Fan: 2019: 11). In the 1984’s Sino-British Joint Declaration, which set the legal conditions for Hong Kong after the handover to China on 1 July 1997 and the 50 years that followed, the administrative right was only vaguely transferred to Hong Kong’s citizens.
According to Fan, these conflicting extraterritorial legal forces have challenged Hong Kongers‘ notions of their own individuality, subjectivity and autonomy (Fan: 2019: 13) and led to an existential „sense-uncertainty“ (Fan: 2019: 13) affecting identity and belonging.
On the other hand, Fan defines exterritoriality as a theoretical concept. Drawing on the writings of Giorgio Agamben, he describes exterritoriality as the submission of life to state authority. As a result, the state has the power to manage, prosecute or even execute this life without having to answer to the law – as if both the life in question and the community as a whole were exterritorial (Fan: 2020: 13). For him, the lives of „women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex+ (LGBTQI+)“ (Fan: 2020: 13) have historically been put into an extraterritorial position and still are today.
The lack of (democratic) self-determination rights triggers totalising feelings of de-differentiation, de-subjectivisation and de-autonomisation among those living under extraterritoriality. In this situation, art and activism can become ways through which de-subjectivied lives can potentially take control of their own de-objectification (Fan 2019: 34).
Fan’s double definition of extraterritoriality relates the existential experience of Hong Kongers to that of the LGBTQI+ community in Mainland China. Both are subject to illiberal state authority that restricts expression, plural lifestyles and multiple narratives of history from the outside (Riemenschnitter 2021: 30). In particular, human rights activists, pro-democracy or queer / LGBTQI+ movements are tried to be silenced by the state power through laws, surveillance, censorship or persecution (Tan 2023: 148).
In response to these crises of extraterritoriality in both senses, filmmakers, artists, critics and spectators in Hong Kong have repeatedly taken to cinema, art and media as sites where „they can negotiate their conflicting political affects and opinions associated with their extraterritorial position“ (Fan 2019: 1). In Fan’s view, art thus becomes a resource for those who hold an extraterritorial position to reclaim their bodies, their voices and their subjectivity (Fan 2019: 33). Furthermore, art has the potential to create a public sphere in the sense of Jürgen Habermas in illiberal contexts. Through art, competing opinions between individuals can be articulated, heard and negotiated as a democratic network of discourses (Fan 2022: 725).
The symposium Queering Traditions: Contemporary Art and Extraterritoriality sets out to explore contemporary artistic production in Hong Kong, mainland China and the diaspora in their significance to negotiate extraterritoriality defined by Fan in both sense, as a historical aporia and a theoretical concept.
– How are the crises caused by extraterritoriality addressed in contemporary art from Hong Kong, Mainland China and the diaspora?
– What can contemporary art contribute to negotiating sense-uncertainty, de-subjectification and de-autonomisation, crises of identity and belonging caused by extraterritoriality?
– To what extent is queer contemporary art able to imagine alternative genealogies and narratives of identity and belonging through strategies such as queering traditions?
– How can transnational / translocal artistic and activist alliances and solidarities contribute to a sustainable political sphere in Jürgen Habermas‘ sense by articulating an „ethics of openness“ (LaBelle 2021: 40)?
9.00 – 9.30
Arrival / Exhibition Tour
9.30 – 9.45
Welcome: Dr. Heidi Brunnschweiler and Angelika Li
Introduction Symposium: Contemporary Art and Extraterritoriality
Dr. Heidi Brunnschweiler (Galerie für Gegenwartskunst, E-WERK Freiburg)
9.45 – 11.15
Session I Extraterritoriality / Transnational and Affective Communities
-What role can contemporary art play in negotiating crises of identity and belonging caused by extraterritoriality?
Introduction and Moderation: Dr. Hongwei Bao (University of Nottingham)
9.45 – 10.15
Ontodiversity: Digital Existence and Hong Kong Independent Cinema
Dr. Victor Fan (King’s College London)
Independent cinema has always played a pivotal role in negotiating Hong Kongers’ extraterritorial position. After the crackdown of the 2019–20 protests, Hong Kong independent cinema has been put under the spotlight of major international film festivals around the world. After a wave of protest documentaries (2019–21), more experimental fiction films and documentaries including Decameron [Rita Hui, 2021], Drifting Petals [Clara Law, 2021], and Blue Island [Chan Tze-woon, 2022] began to emerge, which offer more self-reflexive and self-reflective views on how collective traumas and memories affect – and are in turn affected by – how a Hong Konger defines themself.
In my presentation, I argue that contemporary Hong Kong independent cinema offers filmmakers and spectators an opportunity to reconnect the relationship between feeling and thinking, which is crucial in the process of political individuation, subjectivization, and autonomization. Such a connection, however, has been pre-empted in most control societies today under what Antoinette Rouvoy and Thomas Berns call algorithmic governmentality: the direct management of affective intensities by collecting, processing, and turning biopolitical lives into big data. In this light, independent cinema offers a more mindful way of rethinking our interdependent relationships with one another. It resists the party-state’s microperceptual and microtemporal control of one’s everyday life by putting into question how one’s perception is in-formed personally and sociopolitically and how such perception can be remediated to acknowledge our ontogenetic diversity: our ontogenetic interdependencies and connectedness as well as our differences and mutual asymmetries.
10.15 – 10.45
Home and Homeland in a Trans / national Perspective (working title)
Dr. Jens Damm (University of Freiburg i. Br.) and Dr. Federico Brusadelli (University of Naples)
What does Fan’s conceptualization of extraterritoriality mean for notions and affective experiences of home and homeland? In Hong Kong? For queer activists and artists in Mainland China? In Taiwan? In the diaspora? How does it relate to concepts and practices of „self-determination“, both on an individual and collective level?
Fan’s conceptualization of extraterritoriality will be explored in connection to the concept of “self-determination”. The latter, in its multilayered articulations (from the individual sphere, including sexual self-determination, to the political level) constitutes a privileged observation point for a discussion on how notions and affective experiences of home and homeland – and ultimately of personal and collective “sovereignty” – are lived and represented in Hong Kong. The discussion will be expanded to include Taiwan, Mainland China, and the diaspora. By this token, different configurations and practices of extraterritoriality will be linked and compared, while addressing different modalities of “queering” homeland, nationhood, and traditions.
10.45 – 11.15
Discussion Session I
11.45 – 13.15
Session II Contemporary Artistic Strategies Emerging from Extraterritoriality
How are the crises caused by extraterritoriality negotiated in contemporary art from Hong Kong, Mainland China and their diaspora?
Introduction and Moderation: Dr. Victor Fan (King’s College London)
11.45 – 12.15
Mobilizing the Sounds of Silence: Creative Activism for Political Participation in Hong Kong
Prof. Andrea Riemenschnitter (University of Zürich)
Under the tightening stranglehold of the Beijing regime, post-handover Hong Kongers face a rapid dismantling of their limited rights and freedoms, which generations of Chinese immigrants had patiently wrested from the British colonial elite in the past. Many of them had been forced to start from scratch upon their arrival, taking lowly jobs as servants and laborers. Determined to sacrifice their own dreams in order to provide better living conditions for their offspring, they were supported by a sizeable group of gifted writers, artists and intellectuals who had fled the very regime that now rules over the postcolonial city.
Together, Hong Kong’s Chinese inhabitants turned the barren, borrowed place into a beloved home, thus successfully inaugurating a local, cosmopolitan, and predominantly Cantophone modernity. As it becomes more and more risky openly to interrogate, contest, or subvert the CCP’s nationalist master narrative from within, many Hong Kongers decide to leave the city, taking their uprooted, portable homeland along. The persevering population, among them ascendant and established artists, directors, and writers, turns to (absent) sound as the aesthetic signifier of their suppressed activism, thus representing the turn from hope for equal rights – including measureable political participation – to despair.
The keynote will address the ramifications of Hong Kong’s repeatedly silenced story as enacted in the umbrella generation’s emergent literary, visual and multimedia art productions. It aims at exploring the tactics of voicing (through) silence, with a focus on the latter’s performative affordances.
12.15 – 12.45
Dr. Winnie Soon (Artist, London) and Prof. King-wa Fu (Hong Kong University)
How do the regulatory environment and the technological possibilities shape the politics and poetics of what can be voiced and can be listened to?
Data today occupies communication, affective relationships and infrastructure via network protocols, censoring and filtering algorithms. According to Data Relations digital publication writer Yung Au, ‘All of us have lived through some form of erasure. That is the experience of having our sentences cut short. Or the experience of being the subject of the moderation that occurs across communication infrastructures.’
We have experienced, in one way or another, various forms of curated information by human and machine forces. The talk will be about the artwork Unerasable Characters which is based on Weibosope – a data collection and visualization system – that has been regularly sampling timelines of a set of selected Chinese microbloggers who have more than 1,000 followers or whose posts are frequently censored. The talk explores the politics of censorship and poetics of erasure within the context of digital authoritarianism. It presents the sheer scale of unheard voices by technically examining and culturally reflecting the endlessness, and its wider consequences, of censorship that is implemented through technological platforms and infrastructure.
12.45 – 13.15
Discussion Session II
14.15 – 15.00
Screening / Discussion: Screening presented by Angelika Li,
founder the Homeland in Transit Exhibition series
Ellen Pau, 52HZ (2022) 15’48”
Followed by Roundtable Discussion with the artists
Isaac Chong Wai, Anson Mak and Ellen Pau
As part of her Video Talks series Angelika Li presents a recent video work by the pioneering Hong Kong video
artist Ellen Pau. After the screening there will be a roundtable discussion about Ellen Pau’s work and the videos
shown in the exhibition Homeland in Transit, Freiburg Edition by Anson Mak (The Black Wall, 2022) and
Isaac Chong Wai (The Silent Wall, 2014). Video Talks series is a screening programme curated by Angelika.
Since 2020, it features video works dating from 1989 to 2023 by celebrated Hong Kong artists from different
generations including Luke Ching, May Fung, Kong Kee, Law Yuk Mui, Leung Chi Wo, Lo Lai Lai Natalie,
Anson Mak, Map Office, Angela Su, Winne Yan and Yim Sui Fong.
Session III: Queering Traditions – To what extent is queer contemporary art able to imagine
alternative genealogies and narrativesof identity and belonging?
Introduction and Moderation: Prof. Andrea Riemenschnitter (University of Zürich)
15.30 – 15.45
Prof. Andrea Riemenschnitter (University of Zürich)
15.45 – 16.15
Queering Traditions: The Fantastic and the Everyday
Dr. Hongwei Bao (University of Nottingham) and Diyi Mergenthaler (University of Zürich)
Hongwei Bao and Diyi Mergenthaler will explore how queer Chinese artists living in different parts of
the world make use of various historical and cultural traditions to articulate their identities and create a
site of belonging. Case study artists include LA-based queer Chinese video artist Andrew Thomas Huang,
Vancouver-based queer Chinese photographer artist Alger Liang, Melbourne-based performing artist
Scotty So, and Guangzhou-based queer Chinese dancer Ergao.
Some of these artists draw on the ancient myth of the Rabbit God to imagine a queer Chinese heritage;
others take inspiration from rural Chinese lifestyles and everyday aesthetics to reimagine what contemporary
dance can be. These artists and artworks demonstrate that traditions are not static; they can
always be reimagined by marginalised communities to articulate identity, community and politics.
16.15 – 16.45
Discussion Session III
17.00 – 17.45
Screening / Discussion: Queer Squad Freiburg / Frankfurt
Wei Zhao, A Story of Wedding (婚礼故事), 2021, 22 Min., China and France
Hao Zhou, Frozen Out (无地自容), 2021, 5 Min., China and USA
The short films presented by Queer Squad Freiburg and Frankfurt address the complexity of queerness
in the context of the Sinophone diaspora. Influenced by gender fluidity, cultural difference and migratory
experience, queerness becomes an expression of diverse constellations of identities. The stories
documented illustrate the differences in the various living realities that diasporic individuals are facing,
while at the same time providing insight into the shared struggles, trauma and emotions that shape their
18.00 – 18.30
Synthesis Symposium / final Remarks: How can transnational / translocal artistic and activist alliances and solidarities contribute to a sustainable political sphere in Jürgen Habermas’ sense by articulating an “ethics of openness” (LaBelle 2021: 40)?
Dr. Jens Damm (University Freiburg) and Dr. Federico Brusadelli (University of Naples)
Oscar Chan Yik Long (Helsinki), Isaac Chong Wai (Hong Kong / Berlin), Leung Chi Wo (Hong Kong), Hedy Leung (London), Anson Mak (Hong Kong), Musquiqui Chihying (Taipei / Berlin), Winnie Soon (Hong Kong / London), Angela Su (Hong Kong)
Die Freiburger Ausgabe von Homeland in Transit, ko-kuratiert von Heidi Brunnschweiler und Angelika Li, fokussiert auf der Vorstellung von akustischer Gerechtigkeit im Sinne des Künstlers und Klangtheoretikers Brandon LaBelle. Das Recht gehört zu werden wie das Recht zuzuhören sind für ihn Grundlage einer fairen Gesellschaft. Klang und Hören versteht er als akustisches Gemeingut, in das sich auf der Basis einer Ethik der Offenheit möglichst vielfältige Stimmen einbringen und mannigfaltige Laute erklingen können. Als soziale Ressource stellt akustische Gerechtigkeit die Lebensrealität der Menschen in den Mittelpunkt und sensibilisiert für das Fehlende, das Ungesagte oder Unsagbare. Als poetische und langsame Kraft unterstützt sie die kontinuierliche Arbeit an einem akustisch Imaginären, das sich um die Erfahrung der Vielfalt, des Austauschs und der Neuorientierung sorgt.
Homeland in Transit schafft einen Raum für die Stimmen, Klänge wie das performative Schweigen von sieben künstlerischen Positionen aus Hongkong, Taipeh und der Diaspora. Die Ausstellung versteht sich als Ort, wo das Recht Gehört zu werden wie das Recht Zuhören eingeübt werden und ein akustisch Imaginäres einer gerechten Gesellschaft erklingen kann. Zuhören wird so als die Fähigkeit praktiziert, einander zu bereichern und Wissen durch Empathie, Verständnis und Zuneigung sowie kritisches Hinterfragen zu teilen.
The Freiburg edition of Homeland in Transit, co-curated by Heidi Brunnschweiler and Angelika Li, focuses on the concept of acoustic justice as articulated by the artists and sound theorist Brandon LaBelle. According to LaBelle, the right to be heard and the right to listen form the foundation of a fair society. Grounded in an ethic of radical openness, he perceives sound and hearing as an acoustic commons, where a multitude of voices can contribute and various sounds can be heard. Acoustic justice, as a social resource, focuses on the realities of people’s lives and brings awareness to what remains unspoken, unheard, or unpronounceable. It serves as a poetic and slow energy, supporting the ongoing work of an acoustic imaginary that values diversity, exchange, and reorientation.
Homeland in Transit sets out to create a space for the voices, sounds and performative silences of seven artistic positions from Hong Kong, Taipei and the diaspora. The exhibition understands itself as a place where the right to be heard and the right to listen can be practised. In this way, the exhibition creates a space in which the acoustic imaginary of a just society can resound. Listening can thus be practised as the ability to enrich each other and share knowledge through empathy, understanding and affection as well as critical questioning.
Do 14.9.2023 | 19 Uhr | Foyer
Mit einer Performance von Hedy Leung
Fr 15.9. | bis 22 Uhr geöffnet
Ein Rundgang durch Freiburger Kunsträume
19 Uhr Thematischer Ausstellungsrundgang | Von Teufeln und Dämonen
Screening Queer Squad
Di 26.9.2023 | 19 Uhr | Kammertheater
Kurzfilme Sinophone Queer / Feminist Activism ausgewählt und präsentiert von Queer Squad // Short Films Sinophone Queer / Feminist Activism selected and presented by Queer Squad
Sa 4.11.2023 | 9.30 – 18.30 Uhr | Saal
Thematische Ausstellungsrundgänge // Thematic exhibition tours
Fr 15.9. | 19 Uhr | Nocturne. Von Teufeln und Dämonen
Do 12.10. | 19 Uhr | Home is where your heart is? | Tour in English
So 5.11. | 16 Uhr | Spurensuche nach den Wunden der Stadt
Treffpunkt: Galerie 1
Ausstellung // Exhibition
Performance // Performance, Foyer
Isaac Chong Wai, Traces in Silence
Einzelpräsentation // Solopresentation, Galerie I
Winnie Soon, Unerasable Characters II, (2017 ongoing)
Benutzerdefinierte Software Installation // Custom-software installation, Galerie II
Oscar Chan Yik Long, A Horror to the Eyes of all Men Seeking Faith
Ortsspezifische Installation // Site-specific installation, Galerie II
Leung Chi Wo, Only Time Can Tell, 2010
Installation // Installation, Galerie II
Anson Mak, The Black Wall, 2022
Super-8-Film/Video, Farbe, Stereo // Super 8 film/video, colour, stereo, Galerie II
Angela Su, The Afterlife of Rosy Leavers, 2017
Video // Video, Galerie II
Musquiqui Chihying, The Camera (16), 2016
Video // Video , Galerie II
Leung hat einen ganzheitlichen Ansatz für das Gleichgewicht der Energien zwischen Mensch und Natur. In ihrer täglichen Praxis erforscht sie die heilenden und revitalisierenden Kräfte von Klängen, Pflanzen und Sgetsu Ikebana.
Isaac Chong Wai
Die politischen und performativen Qualitäten von Chongs künstlerischer Praxis sind in einem interdisziplinären Ansatz verankert, der die Dringlichkeit gesellschaftlicher Veränderungen und globaler Phänomene verarbeitet.
Soon ist ein/e Künstler/in, Programmierer/in und Forscher/in, der/die sich für die kulturellen Auswirkungen digitaler Infrastrukturen interessiert, die sich mit Machtasymmetrien auseinandersetzen.
Oscar Chan Yik Long
Chans Praxis konzentriert sich auf persönliche Erfahrungen und erforscht die Bedingungen des Lebens, die Art und Weise, wie Individuen miteinander Beziehungen aufnehmen, Angst, Mythologien und visuelle Populärkultur.
Leung Chi Wo
Als bildender Künstler verbindet Leung historische Erkundungen mit konzeptionellen Untersuchungen eines modernen urbanen Umfelds.
Die Bewegtbild- und Tonkünstlerin Anson Mak interessiert sich für Stadterneuerung, queere Kultur und Wohlbefinden in Form von experimenteller Ethnografie und Essayfilm.
Su erforscht Wahrnehmung und Bilder des Körpers durch Metamorphose, Hybridität und Transformation. Ihre forschungsbasierten Projekte materialisieren sich in Zeichnungen, Videos, Haarstickereien, Performance und Installation.
Der Filmemacher und Multimedia-Künstler erforscht kulturelle und soziale Identitäten, die durch den Fluss und die Zirkulation audiovisueller Elemente konstruiert werden.
Leung has a holistic approach to the balance of energies between human and nature. In her everyday practice, she explores the healing and revitalizing powers of sound, plants, and sogetsu ikebana.
Isaac Chong Wai
The political and performative qualities of Chong’s artistic practice are incorporated by an interdisciplinary approach, processing the exigency of societal shifts and global phenomena.
Soon is an artist coder and researcher interested in the cultural implications of digital infrastructure that addresses wider power asymmetries.
Oscar Chan Yik Long
Chan’s artistic practice focuses on personal experience and explores the conditions of life, how individuals associate themselves with others, fear, mythologies and popular visual culture.
Leung Chi Wo
As a visual artist, Leung combines historical explorations with conceptual investigations in a modern urban setting.
Moving image and sound artist Anson Mak is interested in urban redevelopment, queer culture and well-being in the forms of experimental ethnography and essay film.
Su explores perception and imagery of the body through metamorphosis, hybridity and transformation. Her research-based projects materialize in drawings, videos, hair embroidery, performative and installation works.
The filmmaker and multimedia artist Musquiqui Chihying explores the cultural and social identities constructed through the flow and circulation of audiovisual elements.
Homeland in Transit ist eine Ausstellungsreihe von Angelika Li. Durch ihren Umzug von Hong Kong nach Basel 2017 begann sie sich mit der komplexen und sich verändernden Natur von „homeland“ auseinanderzusetzen. Die Ausstellungsreihe befasst sich mit unterschiedlichen Narrativen und Aspekten von „homeland“: Mit Grenzen, Geschichte, Erinnerung, kultureller Identität, Diaspora, Vertreibung und darüber hinaus.
Homeland in Transit is a series of exhibitions by Angelika Li. Through her move from Hong Kong to Basel in 2017, Li began to explore the complex and changing nature of „homeland“. The exhibition series explores different narratives and aspects of „homeland“: with borders, history, memory, cultural identity, diaspora, displacement and beyond.
LaBelle, Brandon. 2021. Acoustic Justice. Listening, Performativity, and the Work of Reorientation. London et. al.: Bloomsbury Academic.
Do | Fr 17-20 Uhr
Sa 14-20 Uhr
So 14-18 Uhr
Anson Mak, The Black Wall, 2022, Filmstill, (c) courtesy the artist.
Angela Su, The Afterlife of Rosy Leavers, 2017, Still (c) courtesy of Blindspot Gallery and the artist.
Isaac Chong Wai, The Silent Wall—Berlin, 2019, Filmstill (c) courtesy of Zilberman and the artist.
Winnie Soon, Unerasable Characters II, (2017 ongoing) (c) courtesy the artist.