Tank Man Tango

Posted by Morgan Leek, June 24th, 2009

Perth tactical arts group pvi collective have a reputation for engaging the community through public intervention performances and this onewas no different.

Raising their hands to co-ordinate the Perth memorial performance of Tank Man Tango, on June 5 2009 they lead a re-enactment of the Tiananmen Square protests as part of a global public performance marking the tragedy’s 20th anniversary.

Devised by Sydney based artist Deborah Kelly, the performative public art event Tank Man Tango aimed to teach the exact steps undertaken by the iconic “tank man”, who on 5 June 1989, stood face to face against the army tanks on Tiananmen Square.

“…carrying two shopping bags in his hands, trying to communicate, to correspond, to dodge and weave, to …dance… with the tanks. Tank Man Tango will be a momentary monument to the Tiananmen Square protestors, a memorial made of dancing bodies in cities around the world. An echo across time and space, multiplied against forgetting; an image, a public participatory performance; an enduring online artifact.” Deborah Kelly, Artist

pvi collective ran the Perth public event with resident CIA Studio artists Hydra Poesis. The collective lead a ‘how-to’ demonstration of the “tank man” steps at CIA studios on June 4th ready for the public performance on June 5th at Forest Place in Perth city.

“It is an honour to be a part of such a meaningful and powerful memorial. Even 20 years on, the impact of the tank man footage still resonates and for us it poetically highlights the power of the individual against impossible odds.” pvi collective

Performances of Tank Man Tango from around the world will be documented and the material exhibited at Serial Space in Sydney from June 5 2009 as part of the 649 exhibition curated by Mark Gerada.

For more information on the Tank Man Tango project visit http://www.forget2forget.net

Sarah Rowbottam, Communications Manager, Performing Lines WA

Images by: Bohdan Warchomij

Filed under pvi collective