“What-If? In the Days When the Tiger Smoked” is the culmination of an ongoing project which began in Busan, South Korea in 2006. At the heart of the work is the unfolding of a role-playing workshop where participants reenact dates leading up to a fictional polyamorous romance. The performance, played by a rotating international cast of artists, leads to a group wedding and honeymoon between characters based upon two obscure Marvel superheroes and two internationally renowned art personalities. The happy foursome are Orlan, an artist whose actual redefinition of her own body via plastic surgery confronts representations of woman throughout art history; Stelarc, an artist whose cybernetic mission in life is to render the body obsolete; the Scarlet Witch, a mutant superhero who has unlimited powers over probability, and the Vision, a “synthezoid” superhero whose mechanically fabricated body contains a human soul. What-If?…unfolds the entangled story that brought this romantic foursome together spanning the gulf between genders and representations; the body and technology.
Named after the Korean saying for “Once Upon a Time,” our project In the Days When the Tiger Smoked, fuses together our two single-channel video works from 2009, What-If? & What-If? Beyond a carnalove . New works from our polyamorous databank of speculative fiction include a series of video loops. Honeymoon Valley is an ambient exploration of both historic and contemporary South Korean sites and reengages with the terrain where our characters first met and later honeymooned. Wundagore Spa enacts a Proxy-Orlan character’s simulated operation with sticky and reckless abandon.
AnimatronLove revisits variations on the choreography performed by our characters’ virtual avatars contextualized into a series of alternate worlds.