In How to disappear (completely): Avatar, Mayumi Arai and Nina Willimann interact with the audience by embodying their virtual artist-alter ego willimannarai
2018, Intervention / Performance
Volumes, Kunsthalle Zurich/CH
In How to disappear (completely): Avatar / Practice 1, Mayumi Arai and Nina Willimann interact with the audience by embodying their virtual artist-alter ego willimannarai.
willimannarai consists of Nina Willimann and Mayumi Arai. The digital avatar figure of the artist duo lives in cyberspace – embodied in the analogue space of Kunsthalle Zürich by Nina Willimann and controlled by Mayumi Arai in Tokyo, who can issue commands to Nina Willimann via an online call. In the frame of this intervention – which was the birth hour of willimannarai – the avatar figure explores her "self" in confrontation with "others", as well as the digital and analog potentials of her hybrid presence.
Schwamendinger Kurzauftritte, Zurich/CH
From the stage of the venerable drinking hall of the Restaurant Ziegelhütte, the avatar willimannarai guides an exercise for the spectators, in which they are instructed to watch themselves while being watched by willimannarai. The exercise is based on a Taichi standing posture that Willimann/Arai are practicing in the frame of project How to disappear (completely).
willimannarai – embodied by Nina Willimann and controlled by Mayumi Arai from Tokyo – explores the question of what the "self" actually is, and why we believe that we have to pin it down. Last but not least, the performance plays with the question of who controls whom. Or, as Thierry Frochaux puts it in his critique in the magazine P.S.: "Who performs, who watches, where is the borderline between entertainment and manipulation?"