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Bodies assert themselves in digital

Bodies assert themselves in digital

The “West” is making its own pictures of China, and the Internet is busy playing along. Chinese Xie Rong performs in Linz. © Jimmy Baker

The body is largely neglected in (Western) art. Or it is just an aesthetic issue. Sensory pleasure or intellectual thought, but not physical. Which also has its comedic side: the gruesome efforts to hide and conceal the body. A cough at the party or an “urgent need”. The body “interferes”. This is good.

Dance (modern) art and, above all, performance art seek to make the body visible as well as to liberate it. But hey, it’s more difficult now: everything is digitized, physical objects are transformed into data or images/movies – where’s the body in that?

The festival on the theme of “performance and digitization” will not give strict answers, but will playfully ask questions. Finally, Linz has her own performance festival, oö. Alfred Wedinger, who is responsible for the country’s culture, expects it to become an established annual institution. The premiere from June 17 to 19 can be considered “a test as well”. Weidinger suggested collaborating with Linz: “We can make the festival even bigger, and the doors are open.”

The doors opened between OK (Offenes Kulturhaus in Linz) and Linzer Landestheater. OK organizes, and the Landestheater collaborates, museum-theater collaborations “not uncommon,” as co-curator Frida Fiala happily notes. Fiala, along with Taiwan’s Lin River, who lives in Paris, has invited more than 20 international artists to Linz in search of the “unreplaceable body” (the indivisible body), as the festival is called.

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The venue for the performances is the OK and voestalpine open space deck as well as the foyer and black box at the Musical Theater on Saturday 18th June. The opening will be on the 17th (7:30 pm) by Chinese Xie Rong, who will present and discuss femininity and Western stereotypes of “Chinese culture”. Between selfie culture and social media, solo/ephemeral artwork and art archive: as a highlight of the 19th century, David Henry Nobody Jr. (synonym), who actually portrayed the jet-panther and later US presidents “accompanied” subversively.