Miao Jiaxin

Work for Live Art Denmark
2022 Artist in Residency at Friisland,
“A German Aufguss Sauna Ritual performed by a Chinese from the US”, live performance,
“725 performance”, VR performance,
“Chorus of Pulse” performance recipe for Performance Opskrifter.

A German Aufguss Sauna Ritual performed by a Chinese from the US
We loved this old school performance art piece with the artist engaging in a series of material explorations, including potentially dangerous and unhealthy ones, inviting audience participation, enduriong physically strenuous activities, and creating a giant mess. In March 2022 US-American performance artist Miao Jiaxin was the artist in residence at our project space Friisland. He contributed this live performance to an evening of live performances, “Friisland Live #3”, which freely interpreted the thermo-sadistic rituals surrounding the beneficial use of the hot air of a sauna in its strict German interpretation to work through experiences of migration and loss, and deliver a striking comment on the current political situation in his adopted home country.

725 Performance
A different performance revolving around similar issues was produced for VR-camera, and was on view at Friisland for one visitor at a time until May 2022. In this performance, Miao tied himself to the face of a giant clock on the floor of our studio, and rotated around it with his feet dipped in black paint while throwing coins into a receptacle installed in the center. By the time he had thrown 725 one penny coins, adding up to the then current US-minimum wage of $ 7.25/hour, the numbers of the clock had become unreadable.

The following slideshow contains images from both “725 Performance” and “Chorus of Pulse”.

Chorus of Pulse
With his work “Chorus of Pulse”, Miao contributed a recipe to our ongoing, ever growing collection of performance scores, Performance Opskrifter. For his performance recipe, the participants who choose to reenact his performance, lie on the floor forming a circle which resembles the face of a clock, and feel each other’s pulse. Counting their neighbours heartbeats out loud, their voices merge into a chorus of time passing.

About the Artist
Beginning in Shanghai, where his photography works expressed the universal theme of urban angst, Miao then immigrated to New York, expanding his view of urban streets towards a more conceptual public stage. Among his performative practices across different media, Miao has blended his naked body into the bleak streets of a midnight New York City, traveled inside a suitcase hauled by his mother through urban crowds, made live-feed erotic performances on an interactive pornographic broadcasting website, and dressed as a Chinese businessman for an entire year when working towards his MFA at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is more widely known for converting his New York studio into a jail and charging $1 per night as accommodation on Airbnb. The same studio later was converted again to be a blind dating (meeting) spot, as well as a massage therapy clinic. Miao’s works often express the ambivalent and sometimes antagonistic tension that always exists between the individual and governing or cultural authorities, questioning assumptions about power in relation to identity politics. He posits the artist’s nature as one who transgresses boundaries, challenges consensus, and stays distant from authorities.

The text above was copied from Miao’s website on Dec. 7, 2022.

About liveart_dk

Liveart.dk was founded in 2004 in Copenhagen to promote the discussion, documentation and development of live art in Denmark. The organisation is equally inspired by the imaginative and entertaining English Live Art tradition as by the theoretical and political German theatre tradition. We have organised 10 large international festivals of Live Art for kids and adults since 2004, and over 40 discussion events, books, video series, symposia and more in the field of live art, performance art, art criticism and documentation. We collaborate with theatres, music venues, art museums and festivals in Denmark and internationally.