2 February – 4 March 2019
Opening: 1 February 2019, 19.00 pm
... My fortune cookie the other day promised that the bad was finally over and the good was to come. What do I believe anyway?...
A ghost named Paraiso–a drone–hovers over Hong Kong through clouds of loneliness, longing for her lost home. Every once in a while, Paraiso encounters increasing transmissions from the ground emanating from large groups of Filipino migrant workers. The transmissions of their collective cell phone uploads and messages allow the women to communicate with home, breaking their weekly isolationwith the help of Paraiso.
In Lumapit Sa Akin, Paraiso (2017) the artist Stephanie Comilang uses the dystopian architecture of Hong Kongs Central as a venue, which serves as a financial and business center on weekdays. On Sundays, it is transformed as thousands of domestic workers congregate to create a space of collective self-care, away from their employers' homes. Over food they chat about their working conditions and some earn extra money with manicures.
The public space is not only occupied physically, but is also part of a digital staging. Once content is captured with smartphones, the women feed an archive of personal information. In this digital sphere between their homeland and everyday life, reality collides with its dreams for a better future.
This work questions gender roles and power structures in the workplace and juxtaposes the appropriation of public space with the commercial use of space.
the smile you are smiling you were smiling then but i can’t remember where or when (2018) is a collaboration between Stephanie Comilang and Simon Speiser. The film documents a journey of Speiser's daughter Lotte from Germany to Ecuador, her birthplace. Lotte, who lends her voice Paradise, a fictional character played by a drone, and thus describes her sense of familiarity with both places and blurs events from the two. Staged as a loop, the film implicated the viewer in their journey into recurring memories.
Both works use the means of a drone to not only navigate a space, but also to function as a carrier for emotions–blurring the line between reality and memory, every day and future, work and consumption.
curated by Paula Kommoss