Amidst a volatile/hostile reality, how could image-makers, researchers and ‘ordinary citizens’ invent everyday poetic/political/playful interventions to celebrate difference?
Drawing on a recently-commissioned pilot and other performances / installations created under the framework of the RUN! RUN! RUN! International Body for Research, the film explores — and enacts — running as a creative/critical tool to re-imagine the world around us.
Premiered at a festival celebrating the French Revolution in Grenoble in June, ‘Hand-in-Hand’ follows in the footsteps of the Situationist International, who called for the ‘revolution of everyday life’ by the subversion (‘détournement’) of the established order. Yet, rather than walking, which these artists of the 1950’s favoured, ‘Hand’ upped the speed/stakes, and invited strangers to run and chat while tethered. The film itself exemplifies the messiness — and fruitfulness — of encountering difference, via jump cuts and an energetic montage/sampling of disparate footage and concepts. Its ‘moving’ images embody the breathlessness of a sprint — sights/sounds/sensations/meanings whizz by.
Introducing running as an arts and humanities discourse, both the performance and film present the cultural tradition of walking a run for its money. Their non-western perspectives challenge dominant assumptions. Not run-of-the-(tread-)mill, they function as templates of how the pervasive negativity can be re-channeled into something creative (‘productive antagonisms’).
Run run run, with us! Run into difference. Embrace flux. Don't let things come to standstill. Don't take things lying down. Join the war-cry. Dance to the drumbeats. Re-cover the fighting-spirit of our running hunters-forefathers but move with times – or deliberately refuse to budge. Invent your own gestures or ‘movements’. Mock/knock the toxic status quo. Let us surge forward, hand-in-hand. It’s ‘harder’, but as co-runners we can create yet ‘stronger connections’.
RUN! RUN! RUN! International Body for Research kaisyngtan.com
June 2016 UK
Dedicated to Europe and the world
More more more about Hand-in-hand: kaisyngtan.com/portfolio/handinhand/
Read related essay here: academia.edu/27561108/2016_Hand-in-Hand_Activating_the_body_in_motion_to_re-connect_with_ourselves_and_others_amidst_a_world_in_motion_and_commotion_France_Italy_UK_
More more more about Kai: kaisyngtan.com/portfolio/life-on-the-run/
More more more about RUN! RUN! RUN!: kaisyngtan.com/portfolio/manifesto/
More more more about Fete de Tuile, the festival for which Hand-in-hand was commissioned: grenoble.fr/543-fete-des-tuiles.htm
Director, researcher, montage-r: Dr Kai Syng Tan FRSA
Sound director, composer: Philip Tan/Philbeat philbeat.com
Interviewer, interpreter, assistant: Richard Wright
Talents: Florent Cholat, Gilles Dubois, Taoufik Trouissi
Translation: Florent Cholat, Dave Maliki, Mary Thorne
Support: Leeds College of Art
Additional footage: ANTI Festival (Pekka Mäkinen, Kim Saarinen), Robin Kang, Kleopatra Korai, Michael Larsson, Hayley Newman, Alan Latham, Annabeth Robinson, Dan Robinson, Philip Tan, Arleen Teo, Richard Wright, Yan Tuck Hong (Tuckys)
Citations: Free To Run, Right to Movement, Ai Wei Wei, BBC, Martin Creed, Femen, Tony Richardson, Tom Tykwer et al. See full reference list at kaisyngtan.com/ahrc-film