Repeat after me
Video installation, sound, 2021
11 screens – one big screen with ten small screens, synchronized, 00:06:42
St.joost, Den Bosch
I spoke Chinese to non-Chinese speakers and asked them to repeat what I said. I recorded the performance, extracted the non-Chinese speakers’ parts, then edited a Chinese language exam. In the exam, you will only see and hear the sentences that non-Chinese speakers repeated. I played the video to ten native Chinese speakers and requested them to write down what they heard. I was the Invigilator.
I spoke in Chinese during the orginal performance. The foreign participators repeated in Chinese. The native speakers listened to the Chinese, but none of us was on the same page.
The accuracy of the exam and the distance from the participator’s city to the Netherlands.
The following part is the process records.
In the exam
What did I say during the performance?
We usually don’t speak out our first impression of a stranger. Our instant thoughts on them may be strange or even offensive. But how about speaking it out in a language they do not understand? In line with these thoughts, I made a performance. I invited non-Chinese speakers into a room to repeat a sound I made. It is an initial comment on them I had, spoken in Chinese. It may be funny, a bit judgemental, or offensive, but they repeat it unknowingly.