649 - Press Release

An exhibition to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and the Sydney base for worldwide memorial performance Tank Man Tango. 

7PM, JUNE4, 2009

649 commemorates the 20th anniversary of the crushing of the Tiananmen Square protests: a day officially known in China as 'The June Fourth Incident'. Opening at Serial Space at 7pm on June 4th 2009, 649 will feature new paintings, drawings, installations, video and zines by Locust Jones, Deborah Kelly, Chaina Productions, Pmfk, Brian P, Ryan Leech and Mark Gerada (curator). 

649 is also the Sydney base for Deborah Kelly's Tank Man Tango, a worldwide participatory performance choreographed to occur before the exhibition opens. A momentary monument to the Tianenmen Square protestors of June 1989, the Tank Man Tango project will be a memorial made of dancing bodies in cities around the world. As a collaborative public project produced in consultation with a range of artists across media, this work aims to bring back to life the steps of "tank man".

As Deborah Kelly explains, "Performative, networked public artwork Tank Man Tango aims to teach, rehearse and exercise these steps – dedicated to "tank man", who on June Fifth 1989, faced off the army tanks on Tiananmen Square, armed only with shopping bags. A public participatory performance and an enduring online artefact, the performances from around the world will be documented and exhibited progressively at Serial Space from June Fifth."  

Curator Mark Gerada continues "649 commemorates those heroic souls that dared to take a government on."