Left to Their Own Fate (Os Lusíadas)
Left to Their Own Fate (Os Lusíadas), 2016
Colour video, sound,12'
Performance, length variable
Left to Their Own Fate is a perambulation, a voyage of discovery on which the artist sets out to explore Macau, specifically the Luís de Camões Garden – one of Macau’s oldest gardens – seeking traces of the grotto where the16th-century poet is said to have written part of his epic poem Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads). The video takes viewers on a physical and mental ramble that questions the colonial era, while at the same time initiating a dialogue about the present-day situation of peoples who, left to their own fate, are forced to emigrate, to live in exile in foreign countries, leaving everything behind in search of a better life. In 2016, the work was reacti vated at Art Central Hong Kong as a performance that consists of reading the whole of Os Lusíadas. The artist reads silently and, after finishing each page, tears it out, stamps it with the performance title, location and date, and offers it to a random visitor. The performance explores the notion of territory as “foreign land” and the complexity of encounters with “others.” Each torn-out page is meant to find its own fate, travelling to different cities, countries and continents. Altogether, they are destined to form a mental map, a kind of constellation of how foreigners are perceived around the world.