Experimental event explores the impact of tear gas around the world
Paradoxical Gasp: 17 – 20 November at the Crypt Gallery
The Bloomsbury Festival 22 is not quite over yet! This week we have one final show as part of our Breathe 22 season. Paradoxical Gasp curated by Hidden Keileon, a collective of Hong Kong artists and curators, is an experimental immersive performance exploring the traumatic world-wide legacy of tear gas, on at the Crypt Gallery 17 – 20 Nov 2022.
Paradoxical Gasp is the first event of Out of Breath, a socially engaged art project exploring the use of tear gas and its legacy, supported by the Wellcome Collection and Arts Council England.
This experimental, interactive, digitally immersive production will see the underground spaces of the Crypt Gallery transformed to engage the audience in a sensory experience of immersive performance, interactive exhibits, music and sound installation exploring how air is used as a form of political control.
Paradoxical Gasp and the wider Out of Breath project explores stories of the global use and impact of tear gas on society, personal freedom, mental and physical health. It looks at the links between tear gas as a form of oppression and the social issue of trauma, creating a space for experiences to be heard, and how society can stand together in the pursuit of freedom, regardless of background, race and nationality.
Working closely with researchers, archivists and art therapists, the project also includes an accompanying exhibition and documentary film to be presented in 2023.
Sandra Lam, Curator, Hidden Keileon, said: “This programme offers a public space for the oppressed to tell their stories and creates an audience united by vulnerability and empathy. As individuals’ stories are not told in mass media, it is important for each individual to tell their own stories as a form of resistance against oppression.”
John Chan, Artist and Researcher, said: “I am interested in studying the legacy of the British Empire in contemporary society through investigating the use of tear gas in military environments and civil spaces. This learning process will be presented in forms of creative productions, aiming at surfacing postcolonial trauma all over the world.”