project image
Nung-Hsin Hu

first performed on January 31, 2014
Queens Museum, New York, NY
performed several times in 2014


New York, NY


A film performance which through each showing I manipulate the film as it is being viewed on a manual film editor. It is then re-recorded digitally as it is being projected. The piece originated as a performance ritual act in which I try to control my body through a single repetitive motion and document it in Super 8mm. The performance lasts a half hour in which I whip myself with wet hair until I get nauseous, dizzy and pass out. The performance purges my own insecurities as my internal balance shifts as I try to control the motion of my hair in the air; unwieldy, chaotic and undulating like a dance.

I was entranced by the process of capturing this performance on film. I wanted to keep the spirit and energy of the way light forms the image. In presenting this film as a live manipulation, “Saudade” becomes a hypnotic trance of the moving body as I vocalize an internal dialogue of my intentions, desires and experiences. When I show this film as a live film performance, I become a puppet master, manipulating my body as I watch it in film. The beginning and end are set but how I move through the film changes with each viewing.

Excerpts of Performance Script:

“…at times we often don’t consider every action’s consequences and most times we find ways of reconfiguring our own actions as complicated ways of self love or self hate…

we find ways to heal the imprints of others

I’ve never gotten into a hair fetish but because I have unruly long hair, I’ve invariably ended up in strange circumstances and try things I’m not even attached to emotionally. It’s like people see what they want from you and when you hide something from them, they tend to want to see it…

I want to create a simple repetitive motion

One that affects me

One that forces itself on me

One that tests me

One that I’m failing at

One that unravels me

One that leaves its mark on me…”