“Jerome Bel, Wu Tsang, and Haegue Yang. Double Life”

A trio of international artists explore the idea of performance beyond the usual definition of live artists presenting to an audience in “Jérôme Bel, Wu Tsang, and Haegue Yang. Double Life.” The works blur the differences between performing and visual arts, documentary and fiction. Based in Paris, choreographer Jérôme Bel contributes two works, the 2004 video Veronique Doisneau and 2009’s Cédric Andrieux. In both, Bel invited dancers onstage to discuss their life experiences through movement and dialogue. (By becoming both the subject of the work and an active participant in its presentation, each dancer becomes more than just a physical body translating movement.)

Wu Tsang contributes For how we perceived a life (Take 3), a 16mm film loop capturing images of the artist and other performers lip-syncing to segments from Paris Is Burning, the legendary documentary by Jennie Livingston. Presented out of context, the statements made in Paris take on new meanings. Tsang also premieres his newly completed commission, Miss Communication and Mr:Re, a two-channel video installation showing several encounters between the artist and poet and critical theorist Fred Moten.

Haegue Yang’s Mountains of Encounter is an installation of bright red suspended Venetian blinds. Illuminated by moving spotlights, Mountains references a series of secret meetings between Helen Foster Snow, an American journalist, and Jang Jirak, a Korean national, in China during the 1930s. Snow eventually wrote a book, Song of Ariran, based on those encounters that records the complex, often troubled history between Korea, Japan and China. Yang’s work is filled with angles and peaks that echo both the mountain region where the two met and the searchlights and bars of the prisons, the probable punishment for their activities.

Related special events include “In Conversation: Haegue Yang and Dean Daderko” on December 13 and a performance by dancer Cédric Andrieux January 30 and 31. There’s an opening reception at 6:30 to 9 p.m. December 12 with a gallery tour led by curator Dean Daderko. Regular viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Through March 13. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose. For information, call 713‑284‑8250 or visit camh.org. Free.
Fri., Dec. 12, 6:30-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sundays, 12-6 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Starts: Dec. 12. Continues through March 13, 2014

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Olivia Flores Alvarez