Tactility Studies: Exercises in Archiving
Chong Gua Khee and Bernice Lee
Tactility Studies (2018-ongoing) is a long-term performance project jointly manifested by theatre and dance artists Chong Gua Khee and Bernice Lee. Emerging from their exploration of ‘the body as theatre’, each iteration of Tactility Studies is an invitation to audiences to open up their bodies as sites and spaces for performance – to be soft, to wobble, to stretch and uncoil. In turn, Tactility Studies conjures experiences where touch is both transgressive and reparative, pleasurable and profound. In playing with these tensions, each iteration is deeply responsive to the times and worlds we inhabit, in hopes of generating and expanding new affective discourses around touch and consensual intimacies.
Given the fluidity with which the project shapeshifts in response to different conditions, Tactility Studies: Exercises in Archiving was thus an attempt to reflect on and trace the shifting contours of the project from its conception in 2018 all through to the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period in Singapore in 2020. This archival work included creating a timeline of the project and the people involved in the project, as well as gathering artefacts from the process and annotating/cross-annotating them.
The team for Tactility Studies: An Exercise in Archiving (co-directors Chong Gua Khee and Bernice Lee, dramaturg Corrie Tan, as well as archival consultant Shawn Chua) intend to share more of these materials in the future, but for now are offering these little glimpses into their worlds in 2020.
Chong Gua Khee and Bernice Lee are theatre and dance artists who have been collaborating since 2016. Their joint practice ‘The Body-as-Theatre’ seeks to draw attention to the performativity of bodies in conversation, activate collective physical experiences, and hone in on everyday intersubjectivities. Tactility Studies is the first manifestation of their joint practice. For more information about them and their individual practices, please visit www.guakhee.com and www.bernicelee.xyz