Claire de Winter, Dennis Piek, Hanne Zeeman, Ralph de Vaal
At Jungmann square there is a table, with two chairs at either end. On the table: a glass, a small black box and a tuning fork. People are gathering in the square. They must be visitors to the PQ; we recognize them by their keycords and programs. They behave like an audience. They keep their distance from the table and automatically form a circle around it.
A camera is set up close to the table.
An Asian woman walks towards the table with a white cloth. She wears a black shirt, a black legging, black glasses and is barefoot. Near the table she wraps herself in the cloth like a mummy. She starts with her legs and slowly envelops herself until just under her shoulders. She sits down on one of the chairs and strikes the glass with the tuning fork a couple of times. The opposite chair remains empty.
Tourists passing by stop to look at what is happening in the middle of the circle. A few stay and watch the rest of the performance; most of them walk away after a minute or two. For the next twenty minutes the woman sits on the chair and slowly unwraps herself by pulling the cloth off her body. She puts it on the table and stamps it with red ink. She starts with the tips of her right fingers, then uses her palms and eventually her whole hands. At one point the cloth hits the glass which falls off the table and shatters on the ground. On purpose or accidentally? As if nothing has happened, she continues stamping the cloth with her left hand. At first calmly, but increasingly more aggressively. When the whole cloth has been stamped, she stands up and lays it down on the street like a red carpet. Then she folds the cloth up and places it on the opposite empty chair. She strikes the tuning fork three times against the table and walks away.
People applaud and the woman walks back to the table. She says that her friend in Vietnam carried out the exact same performance at exactly the same time, but at the opposite end of the table. Most of the spectators leave the square, some stay to congratulate her. Ten minutes after the performance has ended, almost the entire audience has gone and there is no sign that a presentation took place.
Performance Memory vs Memory by Ly Haoang Ly and Patrician Guyen explores the relationship of freedom, surveillance and the materiality of memory