Produced by Li-E Chen

Thursday 16th August, Friday 17th August, Saturday 18th August

Work-in-progress performance

In collaboration with Music Director and Conductor Orlando Cela


The Place, 17 Duke’s Rd, London, WC1H 9PY (roving performance)


“The invisible museum is opened to you when you have opened yourself to discovery. It is a state of being.”


Artist-in-residence at Tête-à-Tête, Li-E Chen’s ‘Silent Opera’ will present the six perspective on life and art offered by American-Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh’s six durational lifeworks through a series of propositions for thinking and action. These propositions were written based on Li-E’s reflections on and responses to Hsieh’s aesthetic of life and art. They contain no narrative or representational meanings. Her Work-in-Progress Performance will display the Posters and Statements from Hsieh’s five One Year Performances and one Thirteen Year Plan, which he performed between 1978 and 1999. Drawing on Hsieh’s concepts of Life is a life sentence, life is passing time, life is freethinking, Li-E will further develop her aesthetic of silence by questioning what it means to think, love, fail, sense and become, and by “keeping absence remain” in her silent opera.

During her residency, Li-E will begin her first proposition of thinking and action by being a witness and attending performances throughout the festival. During this time of witnessing, she will not make any comments on what the future of opera is. On the last three days of the festival, she will collaborate with Music Director and Conductor, Orlando Cela at The Place, where they will explore ways to get a closer understanding of Hsieh’s unique artistic approaches and to move beyond avant-garde experimental performance making. Her collaboration has developed through her recent “8 Session-experiments” with 23 Contributors.


This is a private event and places are limited, so please for free entry.


Video Podcast Link:

Research Blog:





Other events on this day:

Artist Li-E Chen in Collaboration with Music Director and Conductor Orlando Cela


Project Coordinator: Hannah Grace Whittaker


Project Assistants: Maria-Teresa Ortoleva and Christina Marriage


Produced by Li-E Chen


23 Contributors from “8 Session-Experiments with Li-E Chen” May-June 2018

Ezequiel Steinman (Dramaturge/Multidisciplinary Artist)

Eleni Tomadaki- Balomenou (Artist)

Miguel Ballarin (Choreographer)

Orlando Cela (Music Director/Conductor)

Stewart Melton (Writer/Dramaturge/Director)

Christina Marriage (Curator)

Seta White (Actor/Director/Opera Director)

Tanya Sharick (Artist)

Maria-Teresa Ortoleva (Visual Artist)

Andrea Abbatangelo (Artist/Sculptor)

Delea Stand (Singer)

Angeliki Margeti (Choreographer)

Yanaelle Thiran (Choreographer)

Eline Vandeheede (Singer)

Jessica Hung Yun (Lighting Designer)

Claudia Contu (Curator)

James Oldham (Composer/Opera Director)

Clay Gold (Writer/Sound Artist)

Ernst Fischer (Artist)

Lynn-Marie Harper (Writer/Choreographer)

Megan Armitage (Musician)

Gavin Fernades (Violinist/Conductor/Composer)

Emma Ingala Gómez (Professor)


Li-E Chen’s project is being supported by Arts Council England, Southbank Centre, Live Art Development Agency, Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival, and the Contemporary Political Theory Research Group at Royal Holloway, University of London. She would like to offer special thanks to all her supporters, including the support provided by The Robert Wilson Archives at the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation in New York, and Improbable’s Devoted and Disgruntled in the UK. All these organisations, as well as her team, advisers, participants and contributors have made possible for her artistic development and the research for this work.