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Visual Arts

Roman Signer and Theater HORA at DAWA Festival


Framework: Diverse As We Are, the International Festival of Inclusive Culture (DAWA)

Exhibition: Art and Signs. Deaf Culture / Hearing Culture
Dates: September 10–October 9, 2022
Venue: Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art

Organizers: Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Department of Culture and Education of the German Consulate General Shanghai
Supported by: Shanghai International Culture Association, European Spaces of Culture, EU National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council, Consulate General of Finland in Shanghai, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Porsche (China) Motors Limited and OATLY

Curator: Dr. An Paenhuysen
Deaf Culture Advisor: Alice Hu
Artists: Cai Rui (China), Yunjoo Kwak (Korea), Gunter Trube (Germany), Zione Hong (U.S.), Hu Xiaoshu and Pu Wenyuan (China), Christine Sun Kim (U.S.), Youmee Lee (U.S.), Roman Signer (Switzerland), soundpocket (Wayne Choi, Joseph Yiu, Wai Lun Hsu, Lai Ping So, and So Wai-Lam) (China), Ming Wong (Singapore), Wolfgang Müller (Germany), Signmark (Finland), Xu Min (China), Yang Jianhua (China), Zhang Zhuoling (China), Die Tödliche Doris (Germany)

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Pro Helvetia Shanghai is pleased to support the presentation of Roman Signer’s work and talk at DAWA, International Festival of Inclusive Culture. Under this framework, we are also supporting the screening tour of “Planet HORA” by Theater HORA, the only professional theater in Switzerland whose ensemble members all have a certified learning disability.

Presented in collaboration between Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art and Department of Culture and Education of the German Consulate General Shanghai, Art and Signs. Deaf Culture / Hearing Culture will be on view at Duolun Museum of Modern Art from September 10 to October 9, 2022. The exhibition is curated by Dr. An Paenhuysen. As a part of 2022 DAWA, International Festival of Inclusive Culture, Sixteen artists/artist collectives from China, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Singapore, Korea and the United States are featured in the exhibition, presenting works in the forms of video, sound, photography, installation and performance.

Art and Signs. Deaf Culture / Hearing Culture presents art forms operating at the interface of deaf culture and hearing culture. It showcases works by artists who take as their point of departure various systems of language and communication, consciously working with their differences, similarities and specificities. Concealing neither their own perspective nor the limitations thereof, the artists seek to open up new possibilities within existing boundaries.

The works represented in the exhibition are by artists whose practices revolve around sound, music, speech, sign language, signs, written language and their inherent artistic potential. Through their diverse and inspiring practices the boundaries between dance, performance, music, language, literature and painting begin to shift. Art and Signs raises the question of connections and intersections between deaf culture and hearing culture. In the process, social, cultural and political hierarchies become visible.

About Roman Signer’s work

In the video work Installation 2006, Roman Signer doubles his performative actions by translating them into sign language. Signer’s actions are translated into Swiss-German Sign Language (DSGS) by the interpreter Gabriela Spörri. Thus a manifold multiplication takes place. Both the event itself, i.e. the explosions ignited by Signer, and the linguization of the event through corresponding sign language raise the question of the language inherent in the event. Does the event itself have a language, perhaps an unknown one, not yet defined? The corresponding gestures of sign language speakers seem to be able to convey both: Both the language and the event itself.

About Planet HORA

Theater HORA stands for a different perspective in this world and for a new connection to time and society. What happens if the Theater HORA ensemble goes on a trip into the future with new artistic directors? Into new universes, galaxies and stardust? They discover planets that are inhabited by many different life forms, bureaucrats, philosophers, workers and creatures who have better things to do than work. The HORA Ensemble goes into outer space and we promise our audiences new insights into the broader topics of work, leisure and time. Come with us on a trip to visit aliens, musical beings, robots and see dance, bands and more!

(Banner image: Roman Signer, Installation, Video, Sound, 36’42’’, 2006)


Event: Roman Signer: Mobile Poetry, Online conversation with curator An Paenhuysen
Date: September 17, 16:00-17:00, 2022
Online link: Wechat live of Duolun Museum of Modern Art

Event: Planet HORA Screening Tour
Date: September 18, 2022, 16:30, Shanghai
Venue: Young Theatre, screening and after talk
Date: September 25, 2022, 13:30, Beijing
Venue: Danish Cultural Center, Screening and seminar


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