Driven by a Dream

Driven by a Dream 1.1

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Description: Increasingly one sees the growing 'status' of individuals in Xiamen being represented by their ownership of expensive black, shiny 4WD vehicles.  One evening, a man was seen with his head down on the table asleep in a KFC restaurant.  It seemed as though he had expended all of his energies at work that day and consequently was unable to sit up or leave for home.  Similar scenes were witnessed across the city, with locals observed asleep in restaurants, on public transport, in local businesses, or in public spaces.  With the ever-increasing wealth of individuals in China and the movement of people away from agricultural to urban living, this drive for progress and status seems to have taken hold.  Responding to this phenomenon, the Action Researcher/Performer attached a scaled down version of one of these 'typical' expensive cars to her wrist.  She then positioned herself in a public space as if asleep, with signs nearby reflecting on themes about the drive to work hard and ‘progress’.  In the CEAC gallery context, a student plays out this role of being too attached to material possessions, with an LED sign scrolling related statements.  When the lights in the gallery are turned off, a second participant, hidden from view, remotely controls the car’s movements.  The car tugs at the attaching cord as if wanting its sleepy owner to be attentive to all its demands.

© Astra Howard 2014