I Would Like to Know You

I Would Like to Know You


10.09.2021 – 30.01.2022

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moskau, Russland


Yingmei Duan and Snejana Krasteva

Interactive Online Performance

„Behind the laconic presentation within the exhibition—a QR code which leads to an Instagram page set up by Duan Yingmei— is a durational process of communication to which the artist has committed herself for the entire length of the show, for at least an hour a day. Anyone can write and appoint a date and time for a chat (via text, video or audio messages) through her page, where one can also see a growing album of images, videos and texts—her interpretations of the chat(s) she had the day before. She explains that during the pandemic isolation, online communication has gained many layers of complexity and is affecting us all in various ways. Often exploring the unpredictable domain of human relations in her performances and video installations, its psychic and subliminal undercurrents, in I Would Like to Know You Duan Yingmei highlights the deeply communicative nature of human experience.

In Duan’s earlier performances, all the way back to the iconic performances as part of the East Village in Beijing community of artists in 1990s, she consistently employed less verbal and more bodily and spiritual forms of communication, a choice that is perhaps rooted in her experience as a child that has left a traumatic mark on Duan as her speech was partially impeded by the cleft palate she was born with. True to her investigative practice in the depths of the human psyche, however, Duan Yingmei choses to spend five months talking, to share part of her time with the viewers as a form of curiosity, care and utmost attention. “ by Snejana Krasteva

Between Sep 2021 to Feb 2022 I took part in a show called “Spirit Labor: Duration, Difficulty, and Affect”, held at the Garage Museum for contemporary art in Moscow.

Originally the curators planned the show in two parts. One was an exhibition for 5 months and the other was a big performance event for two months. However, because of covid they decided to cancel the performance so I was invited to participate in the exhibition. All artworks were shown inside the museum for 5 months, so I planned my artwork to come out of the museum and take place in everyday life, interacting with people from different parts of the world on social media (instagram).

Using Social media isn’t new for me. Around 2006 I began to use Skype for my international projects. Before I met my collaborators we used skype for communication.

I am always interested in people from different parts of society and cultures. So my artwork in the Garage Museum show was called “I would like to know you”. A QR Code was placed in a frame and appeared on the wall. This was my only art work in the show.

After people scanned it they could contact me directly. So we made appointments, then we chatted online mostly about people’s life, work and living area. These people were usually artists, students, art lovers, business people or working people and so on. Besides them, I also invited some friends of mine. So people saw the QR code then contacted me.

Through this performance I chatted to around 600 people from all over the world. Around 180 posts (images, text and video) were made in 5 months. Each has around 10 photos and a short text and was agreed on before posting.

Because the exhibition was in Moscow, most people were from Russia. Through this project “I Would like to Know You”, I got to know more about people’s lives, their work and cultural background.

This performance looks very simple but actually it was hard work. I worked around 17 hours a day sometimes. This kind of work is also called daily live art performance.