Museum of Science and Industry
Call and Response/ Harmonious Societies
Asia Triennial Manchester 2014
In response to Kao Jun-honn, Malan Girl- a piece that took inspiration from the historical site of MOSI – the first ever passenger railway in the UK – Malan Girl was, in part, filmed on the site of the 1830’s Station Building. An old folk song, it tells the story of a distraught Taiwanese aboriginal girl lying on railway lines in an attempt to die for her love.
A Call and Response Commission by Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester.
Rosanne Robertson subverted this tale of female fragility and masculinity of modernity with an alternative ending- a tale of other worldly transformation.
Using metal tools, objects, stone, spawling metal cable, materials mimicking a railway environment/ sounds plus vocals, feedback and distortion this composition plus the live performance at MOSI on the historic railway produced a soundtrack to her own alternative ending of this folk tale. Where female power combines with industry and transcends restriction.
She Melted, She Welded, Sprung Free.
By Rosanne Robertson
A tale of a girl who looked to the train tracks to die for love but who on jumping fell to the ground, the gravel, the metal and realised she had landed in another land. Her body did not encompass the symbolic frail human emotion she felt so strongly should take her to her death in her own hands. She did not feel the violence of modernity- the onslaught of a machine moving through and taking. It did not come, the train, the death, did not come. And now she is here- on the tracks- another place- different to that from where she jumped and not where she expected to be. She did not get taken, not eaten by metal, not torn apart by love, the machine, the past, the present or the future.
She melted, welded, sprung free.
She opened, formed, performed destiny.
She tumbled with all of the parts, the pieces, a structure with her in mind. Everything was built on her, not through her, a structure with her in mind. She multiplied, she wound up and down, a system with her in mind. She knew enough to have been everywhere, she had touched everything, a system with her in mind.
Every moment that was written for her disappeared, every song sung about her disappeared, her eyes grew wide, her heart exploded.
She was the ground, the anything in between everything, the spark between the metal . She was the might, the light, the body and the mind.
This place marked as the end became infinite as the end had not been written in time. The end had not been written in time. She is her end, not for him, not for it, not for song, not for a fate. She is her end.
She is the ends of everything, the stops, the starts.
She is the stops and the starts- all beginnings- all goings- all endings.
She became the connection.
No fantasy, no line, it all stopped here.
There was never a line made that lay that way.
Live Performance, Museum of Science and Industry. 27/09/2014
Recorded audio piece.