Isolationskunst 5: 'Breath by Breath' af Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin


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Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qins er født i 1989 og arbejder med base i Guangzhou og New York. Hendes værk har titlen Breath by Breath og gør brug af en række lydoptagelser der alle er optaget i hendes “social distancing”-periode, som hun betegner det. En periode, der varede fra midt i januar til for ca. en uge siden. Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin forklarer nedenfor nogle tanker om værket og optagelserne – og linker til yderligere information og nyhedsoptagleser:

All the sounds in the work were recorded during my social distancing period starting 20 January 2020 and appear chronologically in the finished work. The piece is in three parts:

  1. Siren Told You So (again)

The work starts with the sounds of fireworks and firecrackers recorded at 0:00 and onward during the Chinese New Year this year. I just found it really memorable so I filmed it and the sounds come from the video clips. The New Year this year was so unusual since everyone stayed at home. Fireworks were fired in people's balconies, dropped into the empty streets and from people's rooftops in the distant village shooting into the sky. Then comes the sounds of whistling recorded on the second day of Li Wenliang's passing.

The fireworks bloomed in the background as people who know the truth try to warn other people. There are two kinds of people here, the whistleblowers and the Cassandras. The whistleblowers are silenced, and the Cassandras, just like the greek goddess who is blessed with the ability to foresee the future but can never convince anyone of the incoming danger, they are dangerously ignored. I see this again and again as the virus spread and events unfolded globally. There are a lot of Cassandras. People with the truth have no power, and the people who have the power betrayed the truth.

Siren Told You So is also the name of a piece I made in collaboration with Hera Chan for an exhibition at Savvy Contemporary, Berlin in 2019. It was a monument of lost marginalized voices warning people about the doomed future.

  1. Bridge

I wanted to make a chant about surviving. This part is inspired by a survival story of a mother and a daughter and is made of recordings of muted gong sounds made with kitchenware. During the most dreadful days in Wuhan, a woman banged a pot on her balcony crying for help for her dying mother. They were saved later. (news and footage in Chinese).

  1. Virus Ecology

This part consisted of recordings from the Khan Academy Biology class about the virus and how ancient retroviruses are incorporated in our DNA. We are not viruses, but 5%-8% of our genomes come from ancient viruses. After this, the sound of the newly-grown-into-forms frogs emerge. How do we live with this new reality?

The ending is a song referring back to the first part about the fireworks and warning.

焰火昼夜赶路 Firework is on a rush

焰火声嘶力竭 Firework is yelling

焰火急行有要事告知 Firework ran with an important notice

早上的人以为是落花 People of the morning think it’s fallen flowers

夜里的人以为是流火 People of the night think it’s a fallen star

中午的人吞下一颗 People of the noon ate it and think it’s not much



Serien Isolationskunst er en særudgave af Podcast for Samtidskunst. Vi har inviteret kunstnere til at skabe nye lydværker, der adresserer situationen, hvor corona-virussen spreder sig rundt om kloden og isolerer folk i deres hjem.

60 episoder