An Audition For Permanence is a video installation which positions a tiered grow system as the audience for a series of auditions conducted on a 'Stage for Cultural Activities' on the outskirts of Bai Dun Cun. These auditions unpack the competing founding narratives of the valley and the thwarted plan to develop the district as a prefecture level city. Performed by the children of local shepherds who migrated to the city with their parents from the surrounding villages, the spectacle is witnessed by an installation of opposing Ning Tiao shrubs, which have been planted in their former villages and surrounding hillsides as an anti-desertification measure. These shrubs have paradoxically provided a much needed source of nutrition for the livestock of local shepherds and as a result has fomented tensions between ecological restoration and the struggle for a livelihood.
The video component for this piece was initially commissioned in the winter of 2016 and originally exhibited at Si Shang Art Museum's Tides of Sand and Steel. These series of projects were developed and actualized in collaboration with ADL.