I'm Handstanding

Peng Yu


Materials: videotape betacam sp

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. M00034).

The title of the video I’m Handstanding speaks for itself. The artist assumes this pose for several minutes. Next to her a man, only partially visible, sits in his chair. The perspective is confusing. When Peng Yu takes her hands away from the ground and seems to float, it becomes evident that something doesn’t make sense. The confusion only mounts when a dog comes trotting along the wall against which the artist executed her handstand. It might seem like this work was made with sophisticated computer programs to remodel and manipulate the images. However at the end of the video Peng Yu stands up and it becomes clear that she had been lying on the ground the whole time. So the answer to the riddle is easy: it’s just a simple, visual trick. The video is made in a quite traditional manner, and doesn’t use the last-word in current video technology. The artist very consciously plays with viewers’ perception. In this way she would like to demonstrate that progress in science and technology is no more important than is respect for tradition.

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