Against-Again Troupe + Snow Huang, Concert of Performance Review, 2017, installation view, performed at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 8-9 July 2017. Courtesy: Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
8 July – 17 September 2017
By En Liang Khong
Towards the end of trailing through the Taipei Fine Arts Museum’s ‘Arena’ – a sprawling show that bounces between performances and installations by Taiwanese and Korean artists, in collaboration with the Gwangju Museum of Art – I’m met with the violent outburst of Against Again Troupe’s Concert of Performance Review (2017), directed by Snow Huang, which transforms office worker assessments into a musical performance. A group of suits are seated around a matt-black table which doubles as the score, chalked up with graphic notation and intrusive phrases – ‘prozac, frequency of sex, caffeine addiction’ – that weave together office culture, mental health and bodily movement. It soon descends into cacophony as performers strike nails into the desk, scrape its sides with an erhu bow, carefully measure coffee into mugs and hammer search listings into a computer keyboard, while the boss leers over his employees: a piece of theatre that commands a powerful presence in a sometimes baffling exhibition. From Wang Chien-Yang’s mini-chapel Faith of the New Generation (2017), painted in Facebook-blue and complete with a cathedral-glass homage to selfie culture, to the invitation to don a chicken onesie and pose in the bright yellow play-pen of Riverbed Theatre’s We’re All in this Together (2017), it’s a show that sometimes mistakes cheeky Instagram fodder for critical engagement with audience and spectacle.