Yung Han Juan (DAI, 2015): "If the energy of the phantom is more powerful before the phantom’s funeral takes place, (for instance, the phantom of history or patriarchy) then can we or should we indefinitely suspend the funeral in order to trade energy, or generate more energy, as possible way to negotiate with the phantom the phantom itself instead of reconciling with it?"

24.12.15 | tag: Arnhem

Excerpt from Yung Han Juan's 20 minute presentation 'Bedtime Echo' for Do The Right Thing ! ~ DAI's 3 day graduation lectures marathon, July 2015.

Bedtime Echo 


In psychoanalysis, the dead figure is more powerful than a living one. So in order to reach reconciliation with this dead figure, we have to hold a proper funeral, to let the figure rest in peace.

Yung Han Juan is interested in the interactions between people and a larger cultural consciousness. He introduced the history of the inflexible hierarchy of order between monarch and subjects that was prevalent during the time of Confucius and lasted beyond that. The Duke of Zhao is the god of dreams. The Chinese dictionary of dreams, Yung Han Juan’s source of inspiration and research, is an especially interesting text, because, unlike Freud’s “Interpretation of Dreams” the dictionary is made collectively. “I’m Taiwanese. Why do I want to talk about a Chinese Dream Dictionary? Well, being Chinese used to be a dream for some Taiwanese…we have the memory of China but not the physical experience of China.” The artist remarked that Taiwanese are different in many ways because they have been colonized and the genealogy is mixed. In this performance, Yung Han Juan presents a monologue while lying in the lap of his “honey”, while she roots around and cleans his ears. This performance, with its strong psychoanalytical suggestions, delves into the study of the dreams of the Chinese through a Taiwanese protagonist.

Maria Hlavajova asks when the performance really began, since the levels of detail in mediation were played out extraordinarily well. She considered how the dictionary of dreams is related to geopolitics and remarked that, “in Eastern Europe, the horizon was a fictional west that [they] tried to embody” and this reminded her of Yung Han Juan’s relationship to China. With regards to reclaiming the notion of the body in the dictionary of Dreams she asks how we can “work through the position of subject (not only being subject to something but also being mobile)?”

Marina Vishmidt was interested in the “process of negotiating with a phantom as domestic drama, ” since Yung Han Juan’s performance partner “honey” seemed to be a kind of phantom. For Vishmidt, the performance evoked Hamlet (pouring poison in the king’s ear); also the gesture of service; and the performance of patriarchy that seemed to be something “like a marriage manual written by Confucius”.

Alena Alexandrova remarked that we always have to negotiate with phantoms or nightmares, after all, “dreams are the stuff we are made of.” In this scene, the female figure is actually in a position to kill the man if she is able to control her own dreams, giving “Honey” a lot of power. “The symbolic order will always be part of one’s own imaginary and one’s own invention…mourning is a paradoxical move – mourning is also rebuilding the image of somebody lost in your mind/imaginary and accepting that loss or absence.” Yung Han Juan is working with the trace in “Bedtime Echo”.

About: Do The Right Thing!

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