Performance Art 2007

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Performance Art 2007 marked the third in a series of Residencies curated around Performance...
Performance Art 2007
Venue: 
KHOJ Studios, New Delhi
Date: 
Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Performance Art 2007 marked the third in a series of Residencies curated around Performance Art, since the first in 2004. 2007 brought together 5 artists with completely diverse work profiles under the broad umbrella of the tag - Performance Art.

The first Performance Residency in 2004 was significant for the emphasis placed on the body and the politics surrounding it, while 2006's residency saw a greater focus on live performances in the public sphere.

The Performance Art Residency 2007 more specifically addressed the theatricality of installation art and the reality of performance art as installation

Performance Art 2007 Project book

The first Performance residency in 2004 was significant for the emphasis placed on the body and the politics surrounding it, while 2006’s residency saw a greater focus on live performances in the public sphere. (Feb-March 07) Performance Art Residency will more specifically address the theatricality of installation art and the reality of performance art as installation.

The invited artists come from a wide cross section of practices that vary from live art to installation based performance, but the common thread will be the nexus between performance and installation.

In - Studio

Raimi Gbadamosi (London)

As an artist, writer and curator, Raimi investigates the complexity of social and cultural politics, always questioning the reader or viewer’s perceptions of ethnicity, race and culture. As an artist he has exhibited across the UK and Europe; has published several books including: Four Word (2004); Chromatophobia (2001); and Contents: Incredulous; Extrordinary People; Ordinary People (1998) and curated exhibitions in London, Exeter and Glasgow.

Motti Brecher (Tel Aviv)

Motti’s current character, the monkey, is the third part of a character trilogy which started in Israel with a character called rosko, an American country-glam star who takes a spiritual tour in the holy land. That character evolved into monty breaker, a futuristic cyber health-guru that coaches a smoke-quitting workshop and is set on thoroughly “cleaning” the planet and in his quest arrives in India (to rid the upcoming economic empire of its bad habits) but winds up finding his true self- the monkey.

Nikhil Chopra (Mumbai)

Nikhil’s work draws from the traditions of theatre, painting, and early studio photography. In his recent solo show in Mumbai, in November 2005, Nikhil presented The Death of Sir Raja III. The show was the third in a series of work in which the artist creates evocative tableaux and poses as the ficticious character, Sir Raja, for live audiences and film. The story around Sir Raja is woven through, and is a dramatization of, personal memory, old family photographs, an ancestral home, and endless stories of the family.

S [Atieq] Listyowati (Jakarta)

Atieq is an art lover + art activist with experience in journalism especially in art space . She managed and organized some art events like these: Galeri Nomad (1998-1999), founder of AppreRoom (non-profit institution) which made some trainings of journalist in art, and others. Recently she took an observation in performance art’s history and its management in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore (2005-2006) which is a beginning-part of her observation of performance art, also in organizing of Indonesia International Performance Event 2006 which was produced by National Gallery at Jakarta last year on December. She is interested in performance art that is like bird migration, which fly away all the time, that can’t be stopped and make some breeding + assimilation with every place, including new forms and other perspectives.

Ni Jun (Shanghai)

Ni Jun is a young artist from Shanghai involved in installations and doing performance art actively in Shanghai. Her work which bridges through photographs to installations has been featured in international exhibitions like “China Rushes” in Germany and CHIINE:mc1 at Montpeller, France . She finished her third solo show last year in Shanghai and has been featured at the Shanghai Bizart and Duolun Museum .


Raimi Gbadamosi's report

Objectives: an in depth artist's statement about the practice undertaken during the residency

The main objective I set myself as the residency started was to write a story a day. This was important to me, I did not want a completely open-ended situation. I sought some order before the possibility of complete freedom. The other objective was to learn as much as possible, to look closely at all that was new to me, and I knew there was lot to learn. It was too easy for me to assume I had a handle on things based on the myths and narratives available to me. Realising I would live and work alongside other artists also made me aware of peculiarities my own practice brought into focus when it came into contact with others. It was also a time to engage solely with others and art, I knew I was here to interrogate my practice as completely as possible, Recognising this privilege of time and means helped me both focus on making and relaxing into the comfort of new experiences I knew would, and wanted to unfold.

I gradually came to focus on The Investiture of The Republic as a means to an end. It allowed me to explore the manufacture of objects while scrutinising the political structures that now surrounded me.

Alongside this I dedicated myself to writing a story a day, trying to keep my promise to myself alive, this allowed me to look at each day with a level of objectivity, I was able to assess my experiences, at least the experience I decided to latch on at that moment. It was the collection of fragments which produced the impetus for new thoughts and considerations.

Conclusions and achievements: extent to which the residency was successful, contribution of work to theoretical and/or practical knowledge, significance for the artist, personal evaluation of outcome, including unsuccessful as well as successful elements, contribution to the artist's development.

Looking back on the residency, I found my time extremely expanded, I guess this is another way of saying that I achieved more than I imagined I would, and this is not contradicting my deliberate lack of projection as stated above. I did write my stories, published a book: A Story For Every Other Day, produce a series of drawings, made a limited edition print, took part in The Lizard Lounge performance, produced medals for The Investiture of The Republic, had the Investiture, gave talks, and this was just the studio based activity. Meeting with new artists, breakfast debates (where conceptual concerns were thoroughly thrashed out), and midnight discussions (where private and pressing questions were aired and resolutions were mooted). Seeing a new city as a ’local’ was an education in itself, discovering the sublime whist seeking the standard is always exciting. I was able to throw myself into an exciting and vigorous art-world; I had the time, inclination and energy. This was incredibly developmental for me, It helped me address my own practice as an existing entity that required time and effort to nurture. The pressures of living have the effect of making a host of pressures central to one’s existence, and the residency helped reset my priorities.

It was disconcerting at points when I found myself needing to address new departures, I needed to convince myself of the sanity and ‘correctness’ of my experiments, realising that it was only in pushing towards the possibility of failure that I would make any inroads into the opportunity the residency was, and represented. Discussing ideas with one’s peers as a continuum (rather than a singular or sporadic incident) was very useful in extending concepts. Taking ideas to bits in a ‘safe’ environment, being able to honestly share anxieties were very successful aspects of the residency for me. Knowing there was a number of committed people propping up my ‘adventures’ helped immensely. There was so much to learn at the beginning of the residency, as banal as getting across the city, that knowing there was ready help at all times made explorations easier to envisage.

Taking the performance element of my practice to the fore was great for me, this is one thing that sticks in my head, to hold an audience on the strength of the immediate helped to assert in me that there is value in the concerns radiating inside me. I know that often one’s own obsessions do not necessarily stand as communal concerns.

Even while understanding the rationale behind the duration of the residency, it still feels like a short period. There was so much to confront in a short space of time, and this includes the self, that six weeks flew by it seems. Perhaps it would feel the same way after eight or twelve weeks, but one would know internally that there has been a goodly period to engage. On the other hand there is nothing like pressure to release the best in the self.

Publications and dissemination: Please do send us samples of any publicity that may result as a consequence of the residency. In addition do keep us posted on projects that may develop out of or link to the work done during the KHOJ residency.

The artist's future plans.

I am working on two commissions; one with the Arnolfini in Bristol, and the City Museum and Art Gallery in Plymouth. As well I am working on a curatorial project in South Africa. I am planning another Investiture of The Republic in London, which is a direct consequence of the residency.

Residency Report:

I felt the ‘coming down’ period after the show was too short, all of a sudden there was time and space to put all the ideas and influences of the residency to use, but rushing around took the fore.

Raimi Gbadamosi


Nikhil Chopra-report

From the 15th February to the 30th March I was invited by KHOJ International Artists’ Association to participate in the International Performance Art Residency 2007.

This is what was facilitated:

Artists, some performers and some working with “the performative”, from different parts of the world

An apartment in South Extension part II, New Delhi; this is where they all resided

6 weeks

A studio space for every artist at KHOJ Studios in Khirkee Village in the thick of New Delhi

Springtime

The support of The KHOJ Team and their frequent visitors

The platform to perform/present ideas at various points and also at the end of the 6 weeks to conclude the residency.

(Imagine our brains to be big stew pots filled with lukewarm stock and all these ingredients are then thrown into it and brought to a bubbling boil.)

In this report I will recall events, situations, and ideas that have developed as a result of conversations and observation while at KHOJ. I will present letters, and notes written for Dr. Gbadamosi’s article performance art; Dr Gbadamosi was a resident artist.

Recollection I

At the end of their journey from Bombay, Sir Raja III, The Blind Man and Yog Raj Chitrakar’s first encounter in Delhi was with Monty Breaker, Rosco, The Monkey, Raimi and Dr. Gbadamosi, the ambassador of the Republic. “Gentlemen, my name is Yog Raj. I make drawings. I draw what I see.” Introductions were carried out and the lot went for dinner to the nearest dhaba. In spite of the scuttling cockroaches and rats they polished of their rajma and shahi paneer, talking non-stop, like reunited old friends. In conversation, they revisited The Under ground café in Tel Aviv, the pomp of Lagos, South Africa, London, Dubai, Bombay, Mumbai and the Himalayas. So euphoric was this union that the group paused together and wondered, “With every high comes a fall, what then will be The Great Depression?” The winds of good spirit brought with them Ni Jun, the Bleeding Bride from Shanghai, Atieq (Attack) Listyowati, The Javanese Bride and her entourage, and the Indonesian Chicken Head Cutter. Relationships were soon established and the unit was now complete, and in the words of Rosco, “Relationships; they go up, up and up. We love relationships!”

Letter 1

18th March 2007

Dear family and friends

I am at a performance art residency in Delhi with Khoj and have been having a wonderful time. The final open studio day presentation is on the 28th. For those who will be able to make it to I look forward to seeing you!Please look through pictures on the link below. They are from a live performance we put together on the 16th. Sir Raja III, a fictitious character I play, visited Khowaja Press in Old Delhi. The press resides across from Jama Masjid a 17th century mosque built by Emperor Shah Jahan. While wandering through the back lanes with Hemant of KHOJ we came to an old Urdu printing press. I got into a wonderful conversation with, Asif Fehmi, its owner. I went back and recorded the conversation we had about the history of Din Dunia House, the building the press now resides in. He talks of how the building was built by the Nawaab of Bhopal to accommodate his daughter who was having an affair with her tutor. He also talks of his great grand father and their press in Meerut, a town some 300 km from Delhi. They were active during the Mutiny of 1857, India’s first struggle against the British Empire. The press printed material supporting the Mutiny. I transcribed this discussion and we had Khowaja Press print all this rich narrative in their own press for people to take free with them at the performance. Sir Raja III made a drawing from observation as his document, presented it to Asif Fehmi and left as he has arrived; in an auto rickshaw back to New Delhi.

Love

Nikhil

 

For Dr. Gbadamosi

23rd March 2007

There are four days to go and 41 have passed. Five artists have hashed out every morning over eggs, toast, oatmeal, honey and jam- just about every thing from politics, religion, and ass fucking to racism, love and the Delhi Metro. They have arrived at crucial conclusions. For example, having to pay Rs. 600 for a foreigner to see the Taj Mahal instead of Rs. 30 that Indians have to pay is a sign of brutal racism and discrimination. I have the privilege to be one of the Breakfasteaters. I am soaking in all the nutrition. I am churning, boiling, burning, beating, bursting, bulging and beaming. I realize, like never before, that I am an organism, ever changing.

When are we not performing? And what is the art of performing? We artists are all here under the umbrella Performance Art Residency. Therefore there is an expectation.

The Breakfasteaters will now take their presentations from the dining table to the open studio day; still flip flopping between performer, presenter and audience. There are no prizes; this is the prize. The lights will go up, the moment will unfold, an exchange will have happened and our understanding of what role we play as people will have broadened.

The Chronicle of Yog Raj Chitrakar

28th March 2007

I am in a room, seated still on a stool with a brown paper package under my arm. Around me are a bench, table, mirrors, stool, jug with water, glass, soap, basin, hand towels and brown paper packages tied up with string in neat piles. All the furniture lies draped in white fabric. I am dressed in a tweed jacket, plus fours, tie, socks and polished shoes. My beard is trimmed and mustache tweaked. People stare into the room from its window frames and door and I feel their anticipation. I break my stillness. I open the package under my arm. In it is a painting made by my grandfather. The landscape painting is of Phalgham in Kashmir. My grandfather would spend from April to October every year in their house on the Liddar River in Pahalgham. We would visit them every year as children. Memories of picnics under the cherry tree, running down the meadow into Higgins Valley as a boy are very vivid. The panorama of the Sheshnag Peaks leaping out from behind Bisaran haunts me. I look at this painting and lean it on the floor. The small brown packages are piled in the two far corners of the room. I open these packages. In them are sticks of charcoal. I begin to draw from my grandfather’s painting on the far wall. With 25 feet of wall to cover, I build pace. The audience is captive to watching an image slowly take form. The room transforms. I pause, wash and seat myself at the table. I look at myself in the mirror. Though I am not interacting with the audience directly, I am acutely aware of my as well as their gaze. I open a package on the table that reveals to me hair clippers and a shaving kit. I begin to cut my beard and mustache and proceed to give myself a clean shave. Still looking at myself in the mirror I start to undress down to my briefs, as if I were unwrapping myself. I open packages stacked on the bench. I react to the contents of the packages by wearing them: a skirt, blouse, scarf, stockings and high heels. I strut around the room. My walk and manner are affected. The room begins to take on the look of a boudoir with clothes and hair strewn. I seat my self on the table. A make up kit is unwrapped. I apply foundation, eye shadow, eye line, mascara, blush and lipstick, and wear a wig. The audience closes in on me, testing the fine line that is separating them from the performance. I look at my self in the mirror from head to toe. My heart is racing. I am in the image of a woman. I continue the drawing on the wall. My new mask brings with it its own restrictions. I work to bring closure to the drawing. The din from the chatter in the room is egging me on. I put down my charcoal stick, put on white gloves and coat and proper myself in the mirror. I walk over to the stool and seat myself on it; still and silent. The lights go out. The work is done.

Letter 2

6th April 2007

Hi Nikhil,  Before you came back and we get to sit with you and discuss the performance, I thought to set down some thoughts from the performance:  I don’t know whether you remember Tara ’s first reaction when you came out to meet us after the performance, which was to say, very simply, “Nikhil, that was special”.  And special it indeed was. For four hours, we sat rooted, transported.  Having missed on the previous performances, we have had to make do with building up our own interiorized vision of how they play out. Of course this is merely dreaming castles in the sand. Until we were actually sitting, sweating, smelling, laughing, cringing, in the moment it was not possible to accurately gauge the impact your performances impart on an audience.  It occurred to me fairly early on in the performance that the lines of similarity between your art form and modern theatre are fairly slim. First and foremost the degree of improvisation and the lack of the spoken word create the need on the part of the viewer to activate his/her own creative sensibility to build up narratives around the ongoing tableaux. This gives way to a critical examination of the performance that requires tools more similar to looking at 2D & 3D works of art than theatre.  By this, I mean to say that the viewer is least concerned with your acting skills, but rather how you, as the character you have become, function within a given space. This critique of the ‘composition’ of the performance was a revelatory experience.  If there was a comparison to be made between acting and your performance, I would be tempted to suggest early Elizabethan drama and the improvisational techniques of actors for whom parts were very specifically written. To the extent that you and only you could be the character portrayed, so too one looks at those comics and heroic actors for whom Shakespeare would write in characters that would exemplify characteristics that the audience had come to know and love in each of the actors.  And this leads me to my next observation: the nature of audience interaction. Because of the space that you performed in, the audience had to negotiate the windows, walls and, for the brave, the interior of the studio itself. This revealed interesting moments when, for instance, one chap feeling rather bold entered into the studio whilst you were applying make-up and plunked himself down directly behind you. We could all see that the moment you got up, he would have been directly in your path and the evil looks that he got from all and sundry soon shifted him! These moments made me realize that the audience, in the context of your performance, were less passive onlookers and much more like backstage staff- it was looking pulling theatre inside out and forcing the audience to travel with you in your journey through the performance. Another moment that exemplified this was the duration of your applying make-up; I remember looking over to see Tara and Minam in animated conversation about the manner and quantities of make-up being applied. Equally, during shaving there were many who were visible wincing as cuts and nicks appeared on your hands and face. Again, this reminded me of Elizabethan drama and the idea of the stage co-mingling with the audience, where shouts, gasps and guffaws were mandatory.  The sheer labour involved in the performance was mind-boggling – we really enjoyed wandering how the wall drawing was progressing and which portion was going to be attacked next. Of course the most interesting aspect of the drawing was how you approached the execution of the work as a man and then as a woman. Your movements changed so dramatically, that the space seemed utterly transformed from the first half to the second half of the performance. Whereas as Yog Raj, I think we believe that we are in a bachelor pad/ hunting lodge: it is very masculine. In the second half of the performance, I think we are in a boudoir, bedroom: it is very, very feminine. And then of course then there is the liminal point when you are in the process of transforming yourself. If there was a moment when ‘acting’ became noticeable, I suppose it was here. The delicate, almost imperceptible changes in facial expression and body movements were really quite beautiful.  So Nikhil, thank you for all these experiences: it was an afternoon we will treasure for a very long time to come.

All our love

Mort/Tara    Chatterjee & Lal

First Floor Bilva Kunj

14 Pandita  Ramabai Road

Gamdevi Mumbai 400 007

Maharashtra INDIA

 

Recollection II

Yog Raj would spend many nights in his studio. He would wake up early, unzip himself from his sleeping bag and in the crisp morning air, filled with bird song, sip his hot cup of chai in the courtyard.  The hours before the building was buzzing with activity, he would spend drawing in meditation. Listening to his charcoal stick scrape against the wall and feeling his body stretch, bend and shake, he would attempt to make a picture on a wall. Mr Popo, the resident parrot would play for hours in the bush outside his window, gnawing at the twigs.

The Great Depression

With the end of one journey, another is already set into motion. Sir Raja III has been invited to London where he will present himself this July (http://www.grosvenorgallery.com/exhibit_view.asp?id=1278) Yog Raj Chitrakar is preparing to set out on an expedition that will take him through all of India’s 28 states and 7 Union Territories where he will travel from village to village and town to town collecting wares and stories and will make drawings to chronicle the romance that he associated with India. The Blind man who was healed by Rosco, the Southern Preacher at the Lizard Lounge has all of sight and the beauty of vision to explore.The end was abrupt and the good byes were brief. At this time the unit paused again and pondered, “Is this the Great Depression?” The unit parted. They took with them records, photographs and videos of themselves as friends, lovers and actors, of their agreements, disagreements and public presentations.


S S Listyowati [Atieq]- Report

S S Listyowati [Atieq]- Report

Artist's Report details:

Objectives: an in depth artist's statement about the practice undertaken during the residencyResidency program is a very good idea. Not for the artist only, but also for the host, local artist, people surround the residency site (studio), public of art and culture in New Delhi also other regions of India. It’s not about how to make a same perception, but how to learn about respective of the diversities in a mutual understanding. It’s not about art only, but culture, which is included the bias of social, politic and economic influence etc. Residency program is a good time for learning in comparative and focusing.

It’s a learning and training to ourselves, how to manage our mind and movement into a result [an artwork or realization of our idea].During the residency, the artist must be adapted and open the window widely for all kind of situation, difference culture, attitudes, local habit, faith, communication, perspectives, facility, relationship, networking etc. Residency program is about how big and how fast the artist could absorb all of those conditions above as the concept and management of artwork and future plan which could lift and realize to be more artworks and projects in any chance using and useful programs.

Conclusions and achievements: extent to which the residency was successful, contribution of work to theoretical and/or practical knowledge, significance for the artist, personal evaluation of outcome, including unsuccessful as well as successful elements, contribution to the artist's development.

Yes, no doubt that program of residency for performance artist on last 15th February-30th March was a very successful event, for me especially in contribution to development of my appreciation and progression in art also management. I wish all experiences in this residence program as a good learning will be useful on my next programs. Salute for KHOJ!

I describe all my impression during KHOJ Residency in my diary below:

In the beginning of the residency, a new perception always came to my mind in every second and developed my perspective in every minute, even in my first day in New Delhi. Other artists in my guest house were the first ‘material’ for me in learning process. In the first day [after I knocked the door and sit down on the sofa directly, not came in my room yet and everybody in living room (my new ‘brothers’) offered and served some drink and meal to me very kindly], we talk about spirituality and religion as a major topic, not art. It was amazing and unpredictable. Then, day after day everything kept going in a red line as my concept which is much more spiritual, even it was about gender perspective. A lot of very strong insights and cues came to my daily life and enter my mind, but it would be a very difficult thing for people thinking. Generally, people think about ‘how look’ and ‘textual’ description. Empiric could not describe my mind which was full of ‘something beyond’. I could not push anybody to believe and understand what I believed and I’m learning.

But, here I was. I need two weeks to make sure what I want to do as possible I can realize my work. The first week was my focus to make a very simple work and could save my money. I was not sure to do the concept, because it was out of my true life. Performance art is never far away from the artist life, what’s the ‘really’ big mind of the artist at the time, without any manipulation. Otherwise, I thought I want to make a concept in studio and performance as an actual issue of the world, for examples: a political will of mine, talk about war, environment, social economic system etc. I wasn’t ‘there’.

Then I decide to be honest to myself and do something what I want to do and to be myself on my work. I made a draft in a sketch and text. The title of my performance was “SUBLIME” [this performance was created on 2005 and modified during my residency in KHOJ, never performed yet] and correlated in my studio which would be “A Land of Peace” as a place to start and back from the journey.

In my sketch, I want to make some tunnels from my room to other rooms where my ‘brothers’ and ‘sister’ were staying. My feeling was so deep to them, almost in everyday we did all together. But after a month, everything was going in a rush time for me, I was busy to focusing in ‘what I want to do’ and made me impatient in every second. Little friction on my mind appeared day by day and my deep feeling of my ‘brothers and sister’ was in erosion.

Finally, I failed to make the tunnels. [Actually, before this concept, I had a (first) concept of relationship. I want to put a camera in every room, every studio of my ‘brothers and sister’ and I can see in my room what was going on their room. It meant that I never stop the relation with them. But, ironically it was similar to ‘watch’ them. Yes, we have a lot of curious and supervision when we make a relationship. That was the concept. Unfortunately, this concept could not be realized because I thought the cost was too high for my budget]

During my work in studio, I ask to everybody to describe about ‘peace’ on a sheet of yellow paper. But a lot of them could not make it or bring it back to me. I don’t know, it because they were busy or lazy or no attention or had no idea about ‘peace’. No answer from them. Actually, I need those all to inspire in my concept of “A Land of Peace”.

Talk session was very exciting for me. We could talk, see and listen or discuss and compare everything about art especially performance art as a part of contemporary art from decade to decade, from ocean to ocean, from nation to nation, from culture to culture, from community to community, from country to country, from institution to institution, from personal to personal and ego to ego.

I enjoyed every moment and event during my residency in KHOJ. Talk session in KHOJ Studio and others, opening exhibition, discussion, seminar, visit to galleries, introducing to a lot (interesting) people in contemporary art space especially in India were an amazing time for me.  I was thinking a lot about networking when I met everybody there. But then, the important thing which I wanted to know was the mind and the progression of each people. When I was in the conversation and community, I felt no urgent anymore to have own faith of art, but diversities of mind made different situation and condition also perception to be their own theoretical and also practical in art and those all could be a rich thinking for a discourse on my mind and my knowledge. It was very urgent to my next step, included my observation and research as my learning of performance art on the next program.

During the preparation and procession of my studio and performance, a lot of thing could pass the problems, everything through like water. Sometimes faced any trouble, but could not erase the red line and the show kept going. All those kind made me reach the gate and get my goal smoothly. It was not necessary anymore to know I failed or not, but when I felt good meant a success. I had a good learning to be processed which was a lot of interest thing in it. A lot of fun and happiness (made me headache sometimes, because overloaded). Anyway, thank You God! Thanks a lot to KHOJ.

So, the process made me successful. Anyway, although I was not satisfied with people in KHOJ Studio, guesthouse facility, cleaning service, cold shower, shit lamps and electricity, dirty room, uncooked water, daily life, Indian food, stomach, fired ironing, underdog computer, bad internet service & its virus, unhealthy, hot weather, dishes washing, dust on the air, urine smell along the street, relationship, language, prejudice, rumors, other minds and mine, talk, program, my performance, myself etc.

 

My concept :

Title: “SUBLIME” – a gender perspective

A lot of people thought that a gender perspective is about male and female. It’s true. But a lot of people also think that a gender perspective is a problem and business of female only. It’s not true. Recently, people were still trapped on this perception, included idiom, symbol and analogy. So, I want to make it back in a proportional and objective line. The term is gynocriticism. In my artwork, I used wedding ceremony as a form of my concept. I used my body as a medium to be subject. I used bride attribute as my costume. No groom in this performance. I correlated with my personal background of traditional culture as Javanese [one of ethnic in Indonesia] also Indian culture [as local perception]. Wedding ceremony is a package of a marriage. All those just the ceremony of symbol, but those are the icon of spirituality. So, my perspective of gender is up from the discourse in feminism, pass through the theory from Simon de Beauvoir etc., more than the empiric thing in conversation of problem and terms between male and female in the real world on this earth. Yes, there are a lot of difference perception in society, especially for women existence about subordination, marginalization, stereotype, double burden and violence in patriarchy culture. But, my perspective is something which is immaterial.

I talk about soul.

We never finished the discourse about male and female also the justice until the end of this world. It’s a never ending chapter in its procession. But yes, we should try to make some deals to be solution of any kind of problem between male and female in every chapter, step by step to be in better life and culture. My work was a one of a trial to be a solution in understanding between male and female, about perception of gender also respective of diversity between male and female, in peaceful perspective and in a very simple form which is often slipped away from our attention. Marriage meant integration, assimilation, cooperation, compilation, taking and giving, sublimation, etc. in many aspects of life, not about man and woman only. Male and female are just symbol and analogy of diversity, even in a person [individual]. Gender is about humanism.

Procession

4pm-6pm : I started my performance from my room --"a land of peace” as a space where the soul comes from before turn to the world--, prepared myself as a traditional Javanese bride [female] with its complete accessories.

6pm-7.30pm : Then I moved out, go down stair. Indian traditional drummers played their instruments on the gate of KHOJ Studio out side on the street. Then I ride the horses-carriage [which is usually used by Indian groom only in Indian wedding ceremony with female horses. I saw those as like symbol of superiority and subordinate --difference position and status between subject and object-- in social life also domestic-life in a marriage] and took around for a while before went to a place beside Khoj Studio and walked inside with Javanese-music ‘Kodok Ngorek’ [instrumental music for wedding ceremony when the groom comes to meet the bride].

I stood up in the middle of a circle of candles-light. Javanese traditional live music instrument [‘gender’] began to be played by a musician. In Javanese music [‘gamelan’], the function of this instrument is to harmonize and to make all instruments in a balance rhythm and tones. This instrument which is called ‘gender’ [read: gêndér, not: jende’] is usually played in all the time without the strict rules like for the other instruments. The instrument frees to be played independently or in solo-performance.

The projector started to show some pictures of wedding ceremony of traditional Javanese-culture.

I put salt [on the earth] around the circle into 3 times and I washed my foot with water which was full of flowers. Salt is believed and usually to be used as energy to make evil [negative power] go away from the site. Water with flowers is believed as glorious water, positive energy.

Then I started to walk to each plate of egg, one by one and pressed them with my right foot [this ritual ceremony used to be done in Javanese wedding by a male (groom) and an egg as symbol of virginity and seed, then the bride will wash his foot with water of flowers by her hands]. Then I put the eggs one by one [7 eggs. Seven is a mystical number in any religion and faith also scientific, for example: ‘7th of sky level is the highest and last atmosphere’ of this planet] to a frying-pan on charcoal fire and fried them with palm-oil and garam masala then gave those omelets to audience. They eat them all with a little bit doubt in the beginning. The last egg [7th omelet] was consumed by me only.

In the end, I burned the screen as a symbol that all those [included all ritual and ceremony] are not necessary anymore in a gender perception in the name of humanism and as a human being.

I had done my duty and back to my room, the soul back to the land of peace.

Text

"A journey of soul from a land of peace and return to the same land again."

Every soul has a duty to live on the life within any kind of problems, including on this 'damaged' earth. Every soul needs to come in and go out and come in again in the land of peace, enter to each body or each 'thing' in the world, 'ride' and left them as just a medium to life.

The peace-land has tunnels for the journey of every soul as a connecting bridge.

A life is a game for every soul. A game which be played by every soul. Play our mind as a harmony, because life is an irony.

Soul has no gender.

That's why equality always be a big quotation in the world until the ending of life. My soul always thinks about harmony and its fair-game as a big temptation to my never ending mind.

Procession in a wedding ceremony is just one of those descriptions. A marriage is collaboration between female and male. A deep meaningful beyond a marriage. Female and male like an earth, as a union and a medium. Everything grows on this world with all problems as blessing. Equality is a magic word for this collaboration. Male is not an enemy of female and female is not an enemy of male. ‘Synergy’ is the other of the magic word in gender. Like 'yin' and 'yang', darkness and enlightenment is always never ending rotation, live and tie to each other as a harmony. All those are just a part of life and journey of every soul to the land of peace, the ending place which is never ending.

I take this performance from my perspective as a female during my life. This is a journey of my soul which has not finished yet.

Poem

about ‘sublime’

a soul comes from a land of peace

go to earth to live and survive

a marriage is a symbol of 'lingga' and 'yoni'

a marriage is not only about male and female

a marriage is about a collaboration and synergy between souls

a marriage of our mind, desire and passion as a need

a marriage is about heaven and hell

a marriage is about 'up-land' and 'down-land'

a marriage is about 'head', 'soul' and 'vagina' or 'penis'

a marriage is about 'how we think' and 'how we feel'

a marriage is about impulse, instinct and mind of our body, beside our soul

a marriage is a collaboration between a body and soul in it

a marriage is a symbol of virginity

virginity is a symbol of 'knowing something beyond' as clear as possible which is no surrender (as the object) and power (as the subject)

… that's the power of virginity

virginity is a symbol of a marriage,

between a couple who has to know the depth of mind and heart of each other as 'tabula rasa',

know anything, hear anything and see anything before

then make a real love

virginity is not about claiming, blaming and judging

but like cooking something together

like 'making love' as a sex

[sex looks like food or eating as temptation]

love is not sex

but a trust

male and female has its strong power in its diversity which is 'why' it's 'good' to be a marriage

so,

a marriage is about equality

a marriage is about ourselves,

a marriage of body and soul which are male and female inside

[and it’s about ‘how to reach the 7th levels of skies to the land of peace’]

just read all beyond....