Xavier Cha Wants ‘Actors Able to Express Conflicting Emotions’ for Upcoming MoCA Cleveland Performances

Xavier Cha, abduct, 2015, video still. COURTESY THE ARTIST

Xavier Cha, abduct, 2015, video still.


Earlier this year, for a performance at 47 Canal, Xavier Cha put out a casting call for performers. No experience was necessary, but you had to be able to act—by which Cha meant, as it turned out, that you had to be prepared to scream and make strange noises on a set of bleachers. Now, for a new film and set of performances at MoCA Cleveland, she’s looking for “actors able to express conflicting emotions, with no dialogue.”

Unlike her 47 Canal performance, for which little detail was supplied ahead of time, her MoCA Cleveland works, produced in collaboration with Frieze Film, are described on the museum’s site:

Cha’s new work abduct, consists of short films and live performances which present actors as they battle conflicting emotions. While outwardly (and non-linguistically) expressing an extreme emotion, such as livid rage, a more subtle emotion emerges from beneath the surface, like the corners of the actor’s mouth distorting to suppress laughter. Both emotions function as foreign agents attempting to gain dominance, or hijack the vehicle of the actor’s facial expression and body.

And what exactly are conflicting emotions? According to the casting call, it’s the feeling when “one emotion betrays the other.” So this means that, in the audition, you could have to laugh a little while being really angry, or you might have to be happy and soul-crushingly sad at the same time. Other than that, the requirements are pretty loose—anyone who’s between the age of 18 and 75 and of any ethnicity could get one of the five available parts. The selected actors get a $200 honorarium and a copy of the show’s catalogue.

Those interested in becoming a part of Xavier Cha’s new film and performances can apply on MoCA Cleveland’s site, or by sending a headshot, résumé, and reel to The finished film will be on view from January 29 to May 8.

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