performingborders | Interview with Bill Aitchison

An interview between curator Alessandra Ciannetti and artist Bill Aitchison

  • Bill, in our email exchange you mentioned that for you Brexit started five years ago because the income-based law for British citizens married to non-UK ones does not allow you to move back to the UK with your Chinese partner. This has suddenly built walls that you were probably not expecting. How has this been impacting on you both as an individual and practitioner?
  • Your practice addresses, among other themes, issues such as global movement, alternative narratives of topographies, relations between local people and visitors with projects such as The Tour of All Tours for example. Also, in these days, you are working on a project that inscribes what you define the ‘neoliberal bible’, Adam Smith’s classic economic treatise of 1776, onto a contemporary Chinese shopping mall. As a migrant, what is your experience of this encounter between neoliberal thoughts and contemporary China? What is your understanding of Chinese class divisions, society and the role of the artist within it?
  • Borders seem to be increasingly present in politics, geographies and our daily experience with critical and often tragic consequences on the lives of many. Can and should performative interventions contribute to dismantle them?

Bill Aitchison is an inter-disciplinary artist who divides his time between China and the UK. He has presented his performances, soundworks and videos in galleries, theatres and festivals in Europe, Asia, America, Australia and The Middle East. He holds a practice-based PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London and is a graduate of Ecole de Mime Corporel, he has published critical, creative and journalistic texts in several countries, made a number of works for radio, regularly mentors creative projects and teaches performance studies at Nanjing University. 

Alessandra Cianetti is an art curator, producer and writer. She is author of the research-blog ‘performingborders. conversation on live art | crossings | europe’ and co-director at the London-based arts organisation Something Human.

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