The Cliff Banquet presents Joy Li’s 2020 theatrical production Collective Dreaming, exploring the possibility of performance art in theatrical form and discussing how an individual self can be constructed by collective experience.
Collective Dreaming unites the relationships of mediums such as performance, sound art, sculpture, and garments with their narrative possibilities. The collaborative production features artists Joy Li, Xingqi Liu, and Tyler Brunner. Debuted with her experimental fashion line The Skin of Human Being in the 2019 Benefit Fashion Show, Joy Li furtherly enriches the conversation around collective consciousness. The play presents sculptures, both stationary and wearable, created by Joy as an extension to the previous collection. Xingqi Liu and Tyler Brunner, artists who both utilize sound as media, create music pieces in response to ooze an illusory atmosphere.
Emphasizing the quality of collectiveness, the theatrical production splices inspiration from multiple artifacts including “the Circular Ruins” by Jorge Luis Borges and “Icarus” by Yukio Mishima. The story depicts a dream in which a woman is created. From her physical body to languages, the woman is completed by the imagination of a collective. Pin Yin (拼音), a fundamental pronunciation system for Mandarin, is sung by the performers to embody the weaving of the dream. Collective Dreaming seeks to amplify the dynamic and tension generated from the interaction between individuals. It provokes reflections on self-perception and leaves the audience to ponder how a person is influenced and shaped by shared actions. The question lastly asked by the main character—“Are we living as an inauthentic existence?”— sheds light on the uncertainty this piece has harbored.
Exhibition Dates: March 6–7, 2020, 7:00 PM
Location: The Gateway, BBOX (1601 W Mt Royal Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217) Closing Reception: March 7, 2020