The artwork discusses the progress of human civilization which is based on killing each other. In the history of humans, the so-called ethics of attack has been mixed with more organized violent behavior throughout the cultural development, and it is how civilization progresses. Philip Quincy Wright has brought up a pioneering idea in his book that “(o)ut of the warlike peoples arose civilization, while the peaceful collectors and hunters were driven to the ends of the earth, where they are gradually being exterminated or absorbed, with only the dubious satisfaction of observing the nations which had wielded war so effectively to destroy them to become great, now victimized by their own instrument.”
Humans have become more reckless since the scientific belief in Materialism rejected the idea of an absolute Truth. Civilization thus speeds up toward a world of destruction without turning back. We can only look for an inner sparkle of hope through the spirituality of art.
Human Zoo is a performance integrating space installation, illustration, video, live electronic improvisation, and performance art. The venue is Barry Room at Taipei Art Village, where spectators sit on the both sides of the long narrow gallery space around a translucent installation at the center. The performance space is like an illuminated island floating in the darkness. As the light changes, the screen either becomes transparent or reveals the light-and-shadow projected on it. The low humming electronic noise slowly unfolds the opening scene, where performers grope their ways through the darkness. The whole performance follows the live electronic sound to explore the interaction between the physical movements and the space installation. Here, sound is like some subconscious energy driving humans to destroy but also to look for the sparkle of hope in destruction. The interaction among light, sound, and physical movements demonstrates the relation between humans’ inner and outer defense, offense, and attack. The spectators sitting around the space feel the soul of an animal imprisoned in a human mind and the endless struggle of desire.