Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition 2014 – The Return of Ghost

2014⋅11⋅01—2015⋅01⋅25

About Taiwan Internation Video Art Exhibition 2014 – “The Return of Ghosts”

GONG Jow-Jiun, TAKAMORI Nobuo

The 4th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition 2014 (2014 TIVA)–“The Return of Ghosts” can be seen as the sequel of the 3 previous exhibitions. With the curation of “Dwelling Place?”, “Eattopia”, as well as “Melancholy in Progress”, Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition has accumulated the depth and width for discourses on contemporary living agenda and the development of modernity. This year, “The Return of Ghosts” attempts to explore the narrative possibility beyond modernity space, so as to review the modern world constructed by modern narratives, globalization, and Neoliberalism. Modern history in the era of globalization absorbs the scientific language and the rational dialectic logic from the West in the process of modernization, becoming a tool that shapes the world. With such knowledge structure, the theories and practices such as animism, supernaturalism, witchcraft, spirits and ghosts are easily belittled as myths or pseudo-science and therefore are excluded as outcasts. The study of the return of ghosts is a de facto endeavor to develop non-modern video narratives.

In recent years, “Animism” has become a hit in the art society of the West as an instrument to comprehend the cultural structure shrouded by western modern society and to probe into the fetishism in contemporary consumer culture. Nonetheless, “Animism” in Taiwan and other non-western societies, though excluded by college and intelligentsia, is an open landscape in the life of commoners. Thus, the discourse on animism and spirits in Taiwan has its own contextual distinction which needs to be sorted out. For Taiwanese artists, spiritual world is not some shrouded, veiled history enigma, but a living cultural space filled with common, bodily experience. In the face of such distinction, the artists from Taiwan and Asia region tends to treat spiritual entities such as ghosts as a kind of narrative approach toward historical document as well as political reality.

“2014 TIVA” has more than 34 invited and selected artists (artistic group) participating in the event. The largest scale in this series exhibition. Furthermore, this exhibition aims to construct spans of timeline as well as of the device of moving images. The works exhibited include Jean Rouch’s Ethnographic film “Les Maîtres fous” (1955), Philippine director in the 80s, Kidlat Tahimik’s experimental film “Turumba” (1983), Taiwanese director in the 90s, HUANG Ming-Chuan’s independent film “Bodo” (1993), and the moving images and multimedia artworks of contemporary young artists from all corners of the world. The platforms that screen the moving images include 16mm film projectors, CRT TV sets, digital projectors, and i-Pads with interacting function. The screening space, in addition to the Museum itself, includes a square in front of a temple, Lo-Sheng Sanatorium and Hospital, Ankang Detention Center in XinDian, common space in YiLan, and the mobile theatre at the shooting site, suggesting the possible historical narrative space which screening technology may occupy. “The Return of Ghosts” tries not only to depict the departure from the western narrative of modernity, but also to return to the level of image aesthetics. Summoning via the power of time, space, device, language, and issues, we hereby invite audience to come to appreciate the phantom nature of images and to witness the ghosts of modern history possessing within.