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Polluta Interview Performance

"

As you know, Polluta is in midair and we transport everything with                elephants. Over time, we now have a twenty-storey pile of                                     . Is it causing us great sanitary and aesthetic headache. 

Can you help us solve this problem?

elephant dung

flying

"

“Dressed in uniform—dark green jacket and pants, a stripped down version of a Mao uniform, with a striking yet familiar red cap—Michelle Kuen Suet Fung paces slowly among the visitors to her exhibit at Pro Arts Gallery in Downtown Oakland. Having already examined the paintings and woodblock prints—a glimpse into the artist’s fanciful yet disturbing world of Polluta—the visitors are now seated in a circle, ready for the interactive portion of the exhibit, which begins with the Polluta entrance interview. Fung’s first question pulls no punches.

 

The primary method of delivering goods to Polluta—that of the flying elephant—has resulted in a surplus of flying elephant dung. What, she asks of the hopeful interviewee, would they propose be done with this excess waste? The interviewee does not hold back either.

 

With a slight laugh, they respond, “We eat it?” The barely perceptible hint of a question mark is a counterbalance to the otherwise audacious, though not inappropriate, response. The interviewee is granted immediate citizenship by the ecstatic Fung: the response, at once disturbing and humorous, is utterly in keeping with the logic of Fung’s world, where waste and commodity are rendered equivalent. 

excerpt from "Polluta and Anti-Kitsch"

Steven Lee, Associate Professor, The Department of English, UC Berkeley

Inessa Gelfenboym, PhD, Literature and Culture, the University of Southern California"

 

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watch me

Polluta Interview Performance

Medium: Questions, answers and wit

Dimensions: Dimensions variable

2015-2020

In this half-scripted, half-improvised performance, the artist interviews selected visitors for admission to Polluta as the Polluta President.

 

Interview questions range from the practical to the ridiculous. Such absurdity highlights the duality of the Polluta project: is it dystopia or ecotopia? There is no doubt that our ecological and socio-political landscapes are rapidly shifting in the advent of Anthropocene. More important than ever, a conscientious citizen must be careful with reading between the lines and with choosing one's communities.

Based on the interviewees' answers, the artist determines (arbitrarily) whether they are accepted into Polluta. The lucky ones will receive a temporary resident card on the spot, then proceed to the photo booth area for an official headshot. An official residence card follow. 

The performance was premiered at Connecting Space, Hong Kong (2015), then at Koo Ming Kown Exhibition Gallery, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong (2015), Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA, USA (2018) and recently at am space gallerg, Hong Kong (2020.)

"

goat

Advertise with a                       head.

dog

Sell                   meat.

"

Chinese proverb