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Performance Art Open To Interpretation December 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Life Balance.

The Ringling Museum invited us to watch Li Wei in action:

Bring your own camera and prepare to be shocked by Li Wei’s unexpected stunning performance! Li Wei is coming to The Ringling Museum to offer a fresh take on his conceptual photography in front of Ca’ d’Zan and behind the Museum of Art Courtyard. Li’s work often features gravity-defying activities mixing performance and installation, with photography. 

We went, expecting to see something like this:

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Instead, we arrived to see this:

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Suspended from steel cables, Chinese Artist Li Wei hung in the air.

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Dragon head in front and kite tail streaming behind.

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The audience watched, wondering why Wei needed an audience.

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The cables and cranes were doing all the heavy lifting. Li Wei was just hanging around, setting off an occasional flare to emit pink dragon smoke into the air.

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Bored, the audience wandered off, in search of acrobatic fare and flair.


We went with them.

Aah . . . that’s better!




1. Jill Weatherholt - December 5, 2014

My expectations would have been the same, Nancy. I would have gone wandering too. 🙂

nrhatch - December 5, 2014

The audience was waiting for the show to begin. People scratched their heads at the “delay.” And then the collective lightbulb went off and we realized we were already watching “the show.” At that point the audience dispersed.

Jill Weatherholt - December 5, 2014

What a bummer…hopefully you found something more entertaining or at least had a nice lunch. 🙂

nrhatch - December 5, 2014

Even better . . . we did BOTH! We toured the Ringling Art Museum to see a few of Li Wei’s completed works, along with 6 other traveling exhibits.

And then we went to lunch. Food makes it all better!

2. Val Boyko - December 5, 2014

Interesting video though …..
Val x

nrhatch - December 5, 2014

The video is interesting . . . but his “live performance” was almost as exciting as watching paint dry.

Val Boyko - December 6, 2014

You have your father’s humor that’s for sure 😉

nrhatch - December 6, 2014

Thanks! :mrgreen:

3. Don - December 5, 2014

Sometimes in life our expectations are just not met.

nrhatch - December 5, 2014

True dat! The most peace-filled response I’ve found is to “let it be” as it is.

I found this “performance” more amusing than upsetting. 😛

4. brickhousechick - December 5, 2014

I give him credit for his art and photography. College was too traditional for him, I can see how that would be the case. Even so, I don’t blame you and the crowd for disbursing. Plus, food is always more alluring! 🙂 Enjoy your weekend ahead, Nancy.

nrhatch - December 5, 2014

Lunch was DELICIOUS ~ broccoli cheese soup in a sourdough bread bowl.

5. valleygrail - December 5, 2014

Li Wei in non action! Your soup sounded a lot better than the show.

nrhatch - December 5, 2014

It was! :mrgreen:

6. Yolanda M. - December 5, 2014

reading the comments Nancy I would have to agree that the highlight of the day was your broccoli cheese soup 😀 I would have walked away too. Pointless hanging around…

nrhatch - December 5, 2014

We enjoyed the outing (as a whole) but hanging around while watching him hanging around didn’t seem a good use of time.

And the soup was WONDERFUL!

7. Grannymar - December 5, 2014

I would have gone in search of good coffee and a sticky bun!

nrhatch - December 5, 2014

I bet many in the audience did just that, GM. We wanted to see some of the exhibits in the Art Museum, so it wasn’t a wasted trip. But it was “peculiar.”

8. jannatwrites - December 5, 2014

I don’t think I’d stick around, either!

nrhatch - December 5, 2014

It was so odd watching and waiting for the show to begin before realizing “That’s IT . . . that’s the performance.”

9. Tokeloshe - December 5, 2014

What a pity, definitely a non event ;-(

nrhatch - December 5, 2014

Someday maybe I’ll see the completed photo of him blowing Pink Dragon Smoke into our eyes. 😕

10. anotherday2paradise - December 5, 2014

What a disappointment! I love broccoli cheese soup too. 🙂

nrhatch - December 6, 2014

When I got home, I re-read the invitation. I thought maybe I’d missed some “clue.” I decided that the invitation might have “oversold” the event. :mrgreen:

But we’re glad we went to the museum proper and lunch was delicious. So, it wasn’t a wasted trip.

11. Tiny - December 5, 2014

How is that Performance Art? When there was no “performance” and no “art”, no wonder you guys left…

nrhatch - December 6, 2014

Perhaps he’s of the “It’s Art If I Say It’s Art” school ~ in that camp, a waste basket surrounded by soiled tissues can be art if the tosser intended to make a statement even if the audience has not grasped the intent. 😕

12. beeblu - December 6, 2014

That’s funny – Performance art it ain’t.

nrhatch - December 6, 2014

The marketing team might have put a bit too much spin in the invitation. :mrgreen:

13. NancyTex - December 7, 2014

Bahahaha… poor Li Wei! Then again, I’m pretty A.D.D., so I would have wondered off, too. 🙂

nrhatch - December 7, 2014

It was an amusing gathering . . . and disbursement.

NancyTex - December 7, 2014

I’ll bet!

nrhatch - December 7, 2014

It would have worked better if he’s spoken to the gatherees about the statement he was trying to make with the Pink Dragon Smoke. 😉

14. Three Well Beings - December 8, 2014

A performance without much purpose, I think. It sounds to me like there needed to be some better promotion that at minimum prepared an audience to know what was expected. Maybe some interpretation would have helped. It looks like there was potential and it fizzled!

nrhatch - December 8, 2014

That’s exactly right. Maybe he planned to share his thought processes at the end of the shoot . . . but by then most of the audience had drifted away.

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