documenta X - home June 21 - September 28, 1997
Tunga: Interview
The Hats as Temples
The hat is for me like a temple or holy place, like Delphi with its oracle and its fortune teller. In Venice, I parody a specific context because the work was part of the exhibition »an avantgarde walk in Venice«. For Kassel, I constructed a third element: a hat made of felt. Both hats, both temples, differ in material, character, and in the construction. The one made of straw is like a spiral, and inspires thoughts of lightness, temporality, eternity. In comparison, the other is a hat of felt, and gives the feeling of pressure, like an immovable block of time. The felt temple is basically »carried« by body parts which are suspended from the ceiling, as the hat itself hangs upside-down. There is a connection between this hat, the men, and the contents of the suitcases which are spilled, or »ejaculated« in front of the young women, in front of the »walking temple«. Tunga: Performance
Tunga: Performance
The Artwork as an Oracle
I see this work as a kind of oracle. For me, it is the return of the divination, of the sacredness in art. The hats, for instance, hang from the huge wooden crosses used for controlling marionettes, and there is a gesture of »freeing« the temple from the »hand of God«. Each time an observer perceives something, this something becomes a part of his/her fate, whether s/he like it or not. The range of this incorporation depends upon the disposition of your fate or your own will to understand what you are seeing. The reintroduction of the concept of destiny and divination in art goes in this direction, and this is one of the most important elements of my work. Tunga: Performance
Inside out, upside down
There are two further elements which I haven't yet named, and which apparently are not as obvious. During the performance, music is played: a piece from a classic chanson by Charles Aznavour, which endlessly repeats »Que c'est triste Venise...«. That is an explicit reference to Venice; one shouldn't forget that the Biennial was opened just shortly before the documenta. If Venice is meant to be sad, just imagine Kassel! The other music is related to the felt hat. It's by a popular Brazilian singer who sings a text by Hermes Trimegisto- actually just a chemical formula, which sounds peculiar in a samba rhythm. In fact, one hears only the chorus: "what is beneath, is like, what is above, is like, what is beneath, is like, what is above, is like..." The combination of these two musical elements result in the title of my work: »Inside out, upside down«.

That's hardly mentioned, though. There seems to be a silence surrounding everything which could be anecdotal. I find that very odd, but also interesting. I actually prefer that my work be seen in its orchestrated form, as a symphony of complex information which cannot be solved by one single reference.   next >>
Tunga: Performance
Tunga: Performance
Tunga / Interview - 1 Interview - 3

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