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shake
Subduction Zones: Our Status Quo
Experimental film | 4k | color | 4'8'' | Taiwan | 2016
Located at the subduction zone where the Eurasian Plate converges with the Philippine Sea Plate, the island of Taiwan has developed a unique topography as a result of the downwelling tectonic activity. Similarly, Taiwan’s position at the boundaries of different political forces within the global geography, and the hidden forces exerted by political, economic, cultural, and ideological plates, have shaped its national identity. Taiwan’s unique landscape and geopolitical history serves as a theme for The Subduction Zone by Shake. Comprised of three short films entitled Our Status Quo, Our Story and Our Suite de Danses, the work traces the intersection of the tectonic plates and travel to Taipei’s Tatun Volcanoes; the Yuli to Antun section of the old railway line in Hualian that traverses the Eurasian Plate and Philippine Sea Plate; and to the Jili Badlands in Taitung. In the eyes of a geologist, these locations are ideal textbook examples of plate tectonics; but what Shake contemplates is whether these landscapes enable an imagining of the political struggles that have taken place on this island. How does an individual find a resting place within the conflicts of divergent social structures, political systems, and ideological modes? How can the status of the self be reimagined and the story of the self be told? In addition to landscapes, Shake also includes constructions of narrative elements in the film, such as archived historical documents, personal memoire, school activities, and cultural rituals, in the artistic practice of cinematic writing.
Cinematic writing (écriture cinématographique), is the initial creative approach that inspired Shake’s work. In order to experiment the possibility of narrative form, she plays with the plasticity of moving image to liberate the sense of sound and image, and then make them derived. Meanwhile, so as to resist the film’s rigid institutional mode of representation, in addition to the filming as the only manner, she also tries to work with other different medium and expression form to experiment. Recently, she tries to study Asian geopolitical history in her works. She has participated many international artist residency program, and presented her works in different countries.