A VERNACULAR AGAINST CIRCULATION
Screening "Never Rest/Unrest" (2020) and artist lecture by Tiffany Sia
Sunday, April 10, 2022
On the occasion of our current group exhibition CLOSER, artist and filmmaker Tiffany Sia presents a screening of her short experimental documentary Never Rest/Unrest (2020, 28 Min.) which explores new ethics and aesthetics in documentary film. Documenting the protest movements in 2019 in her place of birth Hong Kong and shot entirely with a handheld iPhone, the work raises fundamental questions about the implications and meanings of digital images and live-streams circulating online: In the age of surveillance and in the context of state censorship, they serve both as evidence and potential charge. In a talk following the screening, Sia shares current research and explores new means of staging visibility which challenges the idea of the moving image as a digital commodity available to be copied, shared, and liked. With reference to the work of the Hong Kong based film collective “Hong Kong Documentary Filmmakers“, the artist discusses a cinematic perspective that favors a collective, diffused, embodied and highly tangible gaze which is deeply enmeshed with its surroundings – instead of the singular protagonist who petitions the viewer for empathy. Similarly, Never Rest/Unrest omits subtitles and asks the viewer to reckon with distance and legibility. The talk will be followed by a conversation with Kathrin Bentele, director of the Kunstverein.
Tiffany Sia (born 1988 in Hong Kong, lives and works in New York) is an an artist, filmmaker and founder of the experimental project space Speculative Place. Her work has been shown, among others, at Artists Space, New York; Manchester International Festival; Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; Shedhalle, Zurich; or at the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival. Sia is the author of books and publications such as Weird Times (2021/22), published with the Douglas Hyde Gallery and Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf or Too Salty Too Wet 更咸更濕 (2020), published with Speculative Place Press, Hong Kong.
Image: Tiffany Sia, Never Rest/Unrest, 2020, film still. Courtesy the artist.