Battleships at Ullens Center of Contemporary Art
Ullens Center of Contemporary Art, Performance
On May 29, 2014 Lucy + Jorge Orta inaugurated the symposium “Collective Subjectivity and Its Aesthetics in Light of Cultural Differences,” organized by the Collective Eye Symposium, at the Ullens Center of Contemporary Art in Beijing. The artists selected the three-day event to premier Battleships, a new performance exploring the potential of collective action to create a more just society.
Through the structure of “play” the performance looks at today’s fierce competition for control of the planet’s resources to ask vital questions about the earth’s future. What space is left for cooperation, solidarity, and the common good of humanity? Can reflection and collective action compensate for or balance individualistic ambitions? How does one define true victory, and who are the real losers in a globalized world?
The open-ended performance takes the form of the renowned board game Battleship to address strategic challenges of today's world. Several teams participate simultaneously and their objectives are represented by, among other things, natural resources, an aircraft carrier, nuclear power plants, mines, agricultural land, fisheries, technology, finance, and works of art. This first iteration of Battleships initiated the symposium’s agenda to set in motion a theoretical discourse on collectivity and its possibilities.