Performance Lecture with Q&A by Naut-Ada

at Contract with the Skin, Flow Day 300003.jpgNaut-Ada, Live performance, ‘Contract with the skin’, Raven Row, London, Oct 2018

Hello everyone, this is Ada hosting the first week of the sharing session.

I would like to share a new work (work-in-progress). For the group meeting on Wednesday morning @930am, I will start with a performance lecture (10-15mins) in the name of Naut-Ada, follows by a Q and A opening up to our group. 

Naut-Ada is one character that I’m developing, situated in the ephemera of 5 other characters constructed through characterization and role-playing. These characters will occupy both virtual and physical performance spaces, alongside with accompanying speculative/autobiographical writing on them and interviews they have with a set of audiences.


naut adaNaut-Ada, Live performance, ‘Contract with the skin’, Raven Row, London, Oct 2018

My research title is ( Performativity, Intersectionality and Subjectivity in Performance Art Practice, with the following research questions:

  1. Is it possible to create and activate spaces of encounter and communication with the performance artist’s body as both the material and archive? ‘Body as material’ that conceptually and empirically expands from the traditional idea of a physical device to a live and active corporeal apparatus. ‘Body as archive’ that embodies a virtual repository for live actions to be taking place in performance art.
  2. How do the process of role-playing and the action of disguising that are situated in performance art challenge and rethink the authenticity of the self and the performativity of identity? Since the emergence of performance art in the 1960s, in what ways have the performance artist been trying to search for possibilities of other ways of being (a becoming) through performance in both physical and virtual platforms?
  3. How to use dialogue, performance curation, and research to test if performative is a strategy, an alternative language of being and doing that enable performance artists to re-situate themselves in the society?

at rca continuous 15 days00028Naut-Ada, Live Performance, 2018 Degree Show, Royal College of Art, London, June 2018

By becoming different characters in my performance practice, I would like to radically preoccupy myself with a loss of distinction between the real and the fiction, the subject and the object, the self and the other. My practice argues for an alternative performative language that allows for a dialectical approach to situate the subject of the self in a non-oppositional relationship with the other beyond the hierarchical accounts of the self and identity, desire and the object. The essential idea that will sustain this project is how I expect my own body to function as a passive corporeal device that intellectually and psychologically reacts to its social environment in everyday living.

This interdisciplinary investigation which has been led by my ongoing performance practice that is underpinned by an intersectional approach that resists the essentialist cultural identity politics and informed by the feminist theoretical approach as alternative ways to look beyond the traditional coalition or contract between body and gender, skin and identity, self and other. I plan to inform my practice with psychoanalytic and philosophical theories on desire, the abject and otherness. I would like to situate my research with Gilles Deleuze’s notion of ‘becoming’ as a fluidity state of being and doing to create connections and relations.

at Asylum Chapel00002

Naut-Ada, Live performance, Asylum Chapel, ‘Beyond the body’, May 2018

By situating the dominant philosophical and psychological accounts on ‘desire’, ‘becoming’, ‘the abject’ ‘self’ and ‘other’ in my research, I’m looking forward to observing and experiencing the change of my self-awareness and my mental state, and also to providing the viewer with a shifting boundary of otherness that encourages further negotiation toward the fluidity of the self and identity.

In response to my first question, I would like to create and activate such spaces like heterotopias. Michel Foucault once wrote a draft to describe the certain culture and institutional discursive spaces, which he called them as heterotopias or counter-sites: real places that do exist in every culture, in contrast to enacted utopia with a direct or inverted analogy of the real space of the society. Simply speaking, heterotopias are like mirrors, acting like the other piece of the puzzle. I’d like to create a fantasy of these heterotopias, where my characters live in between the physical sensational reality and fiction. I intend to use the analogy to compare and contrast Foucault’s systematic description in 6 principles with the spaces I construct in my performance practices. Foucault calls these principles Heterotopology, which is for heterotopias with the found placeless places in different culture and institutions. The 6 principles are heterotopias is universal across culture; a society; is capable of juxtaposing in several spaces simultaneously; exist in time slices; always presuppose a system of opening and closing that both isolates them and makes them penetrable; it has a function in relation to all the space that remains. These systematic descriptions are not all necessarily to be fulfilled to define one heterotopia.

To follow the becoming of Naut-Ada:

Ada Hao’s Website

Naut-Ada at Home

Performance to camera, Naut-Ada, London Sept 2018

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