ARTIST AT SLAP//2

WINGSHAN SMITH

 

 

I am a Eurasian feminist artist and curator based in London and Nottingham who has recently graduated with an MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art. I work to negotiate the everyday tensions in (re-)discovering self-hood, authenticity, and spirituality in an increasingly commoditised and surveilled world.

I work primarily in performance, installation and video media to create immersive environments, which seek to simultaneously explore the relationship I have with myself and others. The scholar Celia de Villiers once wrote an essay that compared mytho-poetic public interventions by artists with shamanism.

My art attempts to follow on from this “as a cultural tool or code that seeks the transmission of personal convictions in an attempt at mirroring society for the sake of stimulating the re-consideration of conventional ethics and hegemonic attitudes”. Other scholars and scientists who examine the psychology of rituals such as Kathy O Dell, also explains that certain types of cathartic rituals provide “psychodynamics set in motion – re routing the viewer back to his/her own domestic site where identities were first formulated.”

Thus, much of my work is indeed auto-biographical and healing but may also bring to light themes of post-colonialism, musings on the digital age, or histories which are readily forgotten; prodding the viewer to ask questions whilst simultaneously reminding them of the present situation.

‘Signalling Venus’

A one-on-one interactive performance piece

 ‘Signalling Venus’

inspired by Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’ (c.1470),

a painting of love, fertility and spring.

 

Work in progress. Audience members will be invited to play the game of ‘Guess What I Drew on Your Back?’. This is a popular game often played by lovers in green parks or gardens in the summer where one person traces a shape or picture on another’s back and they will have to guess what was drawn. However, the only way that the participant and the artist will interact the artist’s guesses will be through text message.

The performance seeks to portray the conditions of intimacy in a digital age, revealing the anxieties of a generation in which virtual connections play as much a role in relationships as physical encounters. ‘Signalling Venus’ will recreate the feelings of physical information lost in digital translation, between the participant and the performer through this intimate yet elusive encounter.

An extension to this is the consideration of the power dynamics set within these relationships of touch, communication, and play. Presented in Venus’s secret garden, this is a feminine empowered space of mystery, rebirth and negotiation of past trauma.

 

http://cargocollective.com/wingshansmith/