Opposite Day

Serena Lee

Opposite Day is Serena Lee’s conversation-based project about and through embodied studying, stemming from her practice of taijiquan (‘taichi’ or internal martial arts) as artistic research. Through a series of multiple one-on-one encounters over the past year, Serena has been in dialogue with artists, writers, and makers Alix Eynaudi, Leo Allenda, Sameer Farooq, Giles Bailey, Ruth Jenrbekova, Fan Wu, and Sanne Oorthuizen. The study encounters have taken form as reiki, visualization meditations, drawing, (song) writing, walking, qi gong (breath work) and visiting museums.

Past Event 

17 November 2021, 12pm – 2pm EST /6pm – 8pm CET
Online (on Zoom) and in person programming (in Vienna)

As part of Missed Connections, Serena will convene The opposite of an opposite, a study session with her study partners. This public gathering, hosted online and in person (in Vienna), will share glimpses of the ongoing study encounters that map notions of opposites, dualities, dissonance, questioning phenomenological and ideological separations that inform and are reinforced by colonialism/ modernism.

The opposite of an opposite will bring together these study partners and conversations for the first time; this gathering will involve discussion, participatory somatic activities, and a talk by complementary medicine practitioner, Lynn Teo, who will trace dualism within healing practices such as acupuncture and shiatsu.

Please join us for this open-ended experiment in studying together, either online or in person. The reading list has been accompanying Serena and her study partners for the past year, and we’re sharing it with you to stimulate some of your thinking and practicing in preparation for the study session.

Suggested Reading List
Transdualism: Toward a Materio-Discursive Embodiment, Xiang ZaiRong
The Complete works of ZhuangZi, ZhuangZi, translated by Burton Watson
Bodies of Water, Human Rights and the Hydrocommons, Astrida Neimanis
The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, David Abram 
Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation—An Argument, Sylvia Wynter
Animacies, Mel Y. Chen

If you are interested in any of these publications, we encourage you to support the writers by purchasing a copy.

Serena Lee’s practice stems from a fascination with polyphony and its radical potential for mapping power, perception and belonging. She plays with movement, language, cinema, dialogue, and space, practising collaboratively and aleatorically. Since 2010, Serena has worked with Read-in, collectively researching political, embodied, and situated practices of reading. Serena also collaborates with artist Christina Battle as SHATTERED MOON ALLIANCE, a framework for sci-fi world-building through living research and transmedia publication. Originally from Tkaronto/Toronto, Serena is currently a PhD candidate at the Akademie der bildenden künste Wien (Vienna, AT) and holds an Associate Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Lynn Teo has worked in complementary medicine for over 15 years, as a licensed acupuncturist and shiatsu therapist, and focusing on cultivating resilience and trauma recovery. She holds an MAOM from the New England School of Acupuncture, and an MSc in pain studies from Tufts University School of Medicine, she is completing her doctorate in acupuncture and Chinese medicine from the Pacific College of Health and Science. As a researcher, Lynn has published several systematic reviews on complementary medicine. She trained as a yoga teacher in the Scaravelli tradition and has been teaching yoga, Vipassana meditation and somatic awareness for over 20 years. Lynn is currently training to be a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner.

Alix Eynaudi dances, works and writes between craft and chaos in a (most of the time) joyful mess. She doesn’t work alone; any event, research, invitation is an alibi to spend time with accomplices, a mesh of friendships scintillating under skins, a stirring of a full-of-wonder support. She specialises in deep hanging out sessions.

Giles Bailey — I work largely with performance, often using texts, video fragments and choreographies composed as live collages of material. At the heart of this is an interest in how knowledge and meaning are generated through relationships with others. My work is often collaborative and influenced by creative approaches to working together from experimental theatre, contemporary dance and music. Since 2016, I have published the zine TALKER for which I interview performance-makers about their process.

Leonardiansyah Allenda’s practice is moving around in between the relationship of human body, material, and space. He is interested with the way of working or doing things, and also subject such as time and the past. Leo has been working with installation, furniture and interior, gardening, hair cutting, embroidery. Leo joined a residency at Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, studied sculpture in Institut Teknologi Bandung (Indonesia), and some hand craft techniques from his family and neighborhood in Banyuwangi, Indonesia.

Ruthia Jenrbekova was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, at the times when it was Soviet Socialist Republic. Graduated from the Biological Faculty of Kazakh State University as ecologist. Since 1997 has been involved in various literary, artistic and curatorial activities. Works as an interdisciplinary artist/researcher  and cultural organizer. Co-founder of the imaginary art institution Krёlex zentre (together with Maria Vilkovisky). As a trans* artist, tends to work in the “post-medium” paradigm, often creating events insted of objects. Fields of interest: performance philosophy, material semiotics, art-based methodologies. Currently a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Lives and works in Almaty and Vienna.

Sameer Farooq has had an unremarkable career as an artist, filmmaker, and educator. He is based in Toronto, Canada.

Fan Wu is living in Kingston, living in Toronto, and living for the VIA Rail trip betwixt. These days he’s thinking about: a Daoist mysticism of 无为; a 20th century French hunger for Asian praxis (Barthes, Bataille, Artaud); process philosophy and Experience as continuum; and the psycho-political potentials of relational aesthetics. You can find his writing online at Shrapnel Magazine (on Lana Del Rey’s authenticity-bending whiteness), MICE Magazine (on Tsai Ming-liang and the poetics of cruising), and C Magazine (on race as a form of interruption).

Sanne Oorthuizen is a curator, educator, translator and editor based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. With fellow curator Alec Steadman, they initiated the curatorial platform Bodies of Power/Power for Bodies (since 2018), working with art and cultural practitioners who are invested in rethinking the civic role of art, asking: ‘How can we use cultural practices to speak to (bodies of) power, whilst at the same time exploring alternative models for supporting our individual and collective bodies?’.” They are members of the collective platform ‘Struggles for Sovereignty: Land, Water, Farming, Food’, bringing together groups and communities from diverse fields and contexts working on social and ecological justice; and one of the organisers of ‘A Pond is the Reverse of an Island’, working in solidarity with refugees across Indonesia, and with the community living at Kalideres refugee camp in Jakarta in particular.

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