Two weeks before my arrival we received an email saying that the festival was not happening due to government limitations. I meditated 2 days and decided to go anyhow. I arrived in Beijing a few days before the festival started so I had a bit of time to digest the new environment. It was my first time in China and it all seemed under construction. Bricks everywhere left in front of houses, some with a note on them, some without. That will be my performance material. So I started asking neighbors if I could borrow their bricks. The answer was no. In the meantime I discovered my host had a lot of bricks as well so I got the approval to use them. With the help of Cloud (tattoo guy) and his van we transported them before-hand to the gallery. 165 bricks signed and numbered. That was supposed to be my Chinese house, an enclosed space within a space /the gallery where we were forced to perform with closed doors. No communication to the public.
Art + Control marked on each buttock. Audience helped me build a wall around me with the bricks I collected: an enclosed space, a SQUARE similar to the closed gallery space we were forced to perform due to government limits...BEIJING (Reuters) - One woman, a performance artist from Taiwan, tied herself up with bras, but left her nipples exposed. Another artist, a Romanian woman in a bathing suit, had someone write the Chinese characters for “control” and “art” across her buttocks. But, for the most part, the annual OPEN international performance art festival, held in a secret venue in Beijing out of sight of China’s increasingly active censors, was a relatively tame and quiet affair this year. Only 15 acts performed last month at the long-running festival, which drew an audience of just around 40 people, most of them the artists themselves or event staff.
Romanian performance artist Viviana Druga lines up bricks as she performs her piece ''Square'' at the OPEN international performance art festival in the Songzhuang art colony outside Beijing, China, September 22, 2017. Picture taken September 22, 2018.