From No.4 Pingyuanli to No.4 Tianqiaobeili
Single channel video
Color, sound, 7’54’’
Courtesy of Beijing Commune
From No.4 Pingyuanli to No.4 Tianqiaobeili (2007) is a powerful work. Looking straight in the camera, Ma tells about her education, the imposed and self-imposed discipline suffered, and the way she reacted to pressure. As she utters these words she seems to blabber slightly. Only in the end we find out that she has a razorblade on the tongue, slowly but progressively wounding her mouth.
In less than 8 minutes a young life and the process that led her into art are painfully disclosed. Apart from being a filmed performance, this is a confession that – as in a rite of passage – turns into its opposite, becoming an affirmation of strength. Remembering is painful as understanding is.