16 – 19 NOV, 2017


“David: Tell me what you want?”  Yu Cheng-Ta

“Natasha: I am dead. My eyes have remained forever open.” Isaac Olvera 

Focusing on meta language, the concept of The verb’s portrait is a wig, as well as the traces of unknown facts, depicts possible ways to space-out. This takes artists’ self projected third-person characters from their fictional narratives into reality.

David takes a key role through the four mockumentaries in Tell Me What You Want, the film project by Yu. He tells his stories about exotic encounters with the idea of relationship exchanges in Manila. Natasha, an indefinite soulful being, is (re)shaped from past tense to future scenario in Olvera’s artistic observations through his project ‘Will you respond to my beckoning, Edgar Poet?’, creating a memorised index where context becomes content in a literal sense.

Breaking the relational settings between body, soul, flesh and spirit, the artists’ imagination are weathered in a mirror relation, yet distance themselves from the ambiguous trans-subjectivity in their own imaginary contexts. The two figures become linked through the artists’ performative approaches. The linking verb between David and Natasha is ‘portray’.


Yu Cheng-Ta works mainly in video and moving image, usually adapting a playful approach to language in his works. His practice deals with the interstitial gaps and humorous misunderstandings that arise when different languages and cultures collide. By focusing on the verbal and body language of the performers and interviewees, Yu investigates differences between culture, language and identity.

Isaac Olvera constructs social scenarios through performance. The imaginary and changing elaboration of a class condition provides him with uncomfortable moments, frictions and singular encounters in city life; as well as material for phrases, theater scripts and absurd essays that at the same time become a visual and animistic exploration of writing, through drawings, reading acts, video installations and sculptures. Whether it is the encounter with librarians, contemporary minstrels or spirits, the artist translates the text of experience into space, through his bodily performativity and formalist inquiry.