common(ing) thread

The New Flesh (London, UK) and First Cut (The Hague, NL) have joined forces to curate an online screening series: Common(ing) Thread.

t Pair 1—Performing Identities r

BECOME THE DRAGON — 成龙, Isabel Wang Pontoppidan (2021)

Meanwhile on Set..., Jennifer Martin (2018)
In their works, Isabel Wang Pontoppidan and Jennifer Martin both use constructed characters to examine the understanding of racialised and cultural identity. Meanwhile on Set... features costumed actors in three different scenarios — Period Film, Action Film and Talk Show — that each 'unpick a condition of acting for British black and black bi-/multi-racial actresses'. In BECOME THE DRAGON — 成龙 we meet two alter egos played by Wang Pontoppidan herself that embody perceptions of Chinese diasporic cultural identity. As an artist 'hailing from somewhere between Denmark and China', her personas unpack the power and potential of hybridity, exploring the liminal positionality between the East and the West.

In both films we encounter a staged performance of cultural identity, challenging the imposition of external expectations on cultural authenticity and stereotypes. This also entails muddying the distinction between the worlds behind and in front of the camera, making visible the lived experience of the actor within filmmaking. The artists’ use of costume visualises this process, as well as offering a way for the characters to 'slip in and out of [their] skins'. For Martin this is through the use of full-body morph suits whereby the actors to become 'fully epidermalised', whilst for Wang Pontoppidan this is achieved through her self-made costumes that allow her to slip between identities of the ‘fake Chinese, the inauthentic dane, the Eurasian mongrel’.
Performing Identities 21–27 March
Performing Identities 21–27 March
Geopolitical Costume
Working Title 4–10 April

Artwork by Daeun Lim

Open call organised by The New Flesh & First Cut