R.I.T.E.S #02-2011

14 04 2011

Date: 29 April 2011

Time: 7.30 pm to late

Venue: The Substation, Theatre and Random Room

Address: 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936

1. Andre Stitt (Wales/UK)

2.Verena Stenke (DE) & Andrea Pagnes (IT)

3. Xing Xin (CN)

4. Jason Lim (SG)


1. Andre Stitt (Wales/UK)


Born in Belfast, N. Ireland in 1958, Stitt is considered one of Europe’s foremost performance and interdisciplinary artists. He has worked as an experimental artist since 1976 creating hundreds of unique works at major galleries, festivals, alternative venues and sites specific throughout the world. Recent work includes: Venice Biennale 2005, Baltic Contemporary Art Centre, England 2005, The Drawing Centre, New York, 2006, Artspace, Sydney 2007, Asiatopia, Bangkok 2008, Spacex Gallery, England 2008, The Lab, New York, 2009, MCAC, Northern Ireland 2009. In 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Creative Wales Award. He is Professor of Performance and Interdisciplinary Art at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff and is the director of the Centre for Fine Art Research at Cardiff School of Art & Design, Wales, and UK. In 2000 he opened trace: Installation Artspace in Cardiff initiating a robust programmed of international time based work

Title: Amnesia [Cluster Overdrive]

“The first forty years of life give us the text; the next thirty supply the commentary.”


Through spoken word, text, sound and projected image Stitt will reflect on the place of performance and art making in his life. From his childhood, and the civil conflict in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to a life spent traveling and making art around the world, Stitt considers how memory and recall, allegory, communal narrative, conflict, codes and myth inform the present.

Estimated Duration: approx: 45mins

2.Verena Stenke and Andrea Pagnes


Verena Stenke and Andrea Pagnes have been working together since 2006 as VESTANDPAGE mainly in the fields of Performance and Video Art. They found within these disciplines the perfect common ground to investigate topics they are concerned: impermanence, fragility, transformation, memory activation and a translative poetry.

The Venetian born ANDREA PAGNES achieved his Master Diploma in Art Critic and Museology and his Degree in Modern Literature and Philosophy in Venice, the Diploma of Social Theatre Actor from Isole Comprese Teatro Florence, and in Creative Writings in method by Raymond Carver, Rome. He published art essays, prose works and poetry and worked as translator, journalist and independent curator and coordinator for site projects for several Venice Biennials. As visual artist, he exhibited his paintings, sculptures and installations on international level.

The German VERENA STENKE studied Fine Arts and Makeup artistry. She trained martial arts, Contemporary and Butoh dance during her living in Berlin. In Florence she studied in intensive laboratories with Kassim Bayatly theater and rites and dances of Sufism, as well as Social Theatre with IsoleComprese Teatro. She works in sound and video art, and evolved her personal way of performative expression integrating techniques of innovative mask- and make-up artistry.


The performance series BALADA CORPORAL consists of currently four parts. It speaks about the continuity of becoming, the difficulties of real encounters unleashing the physical boundaries of body surface, and transformation through concrete communication- physical, psychological, verbal and non-verbal. The visitors gather with the performers to re-awaken what is constitutional to all humans: the expressive power of body and language. These keynotes help to overcome the actual frozen state of being- not as a matter of nostalgia, but rather to ingrain pure poetry into life by re-evaluating the necessity of honest and sincere human interchange.

Part I: Solid Body – Emotional Body

Part II: Liquid Body – Political Body

Part III: Aerial Body – Spiritual Body

Part IV: Fragile Body – Private Body

Expected Duration: 35 minutes

3. Xing Xin

Xing Xin, born in 1981, Chongqing, China, graduated from Chengdu Academy of Fine Arts, majoring in Sculpture. He currently lives and works in Chengdu, Sichuan, as freelance artist. Since the year 2003 when he started doing performance art gaining more exposure in China, Italy, and Belgium. Xin Xing’s performance works developed from his investigations as a sculptor into more complex installations to explore concepts of time, space and existence to express the human condition. He was given a Merit Award during the Inward Gazes: Exhibition of Documentaries of Chinese Performance Arts 2008, Macao Museum of Art.

Title: Playing with a Random Pinch of Hair of Mine Cut by Myself

This thought is derived from the personal memory of my childhood.

In the 1980s, the materials in China were still indigent, and the mass public wasn’t so well informed from the outside world. Everyone was living an ambiguous life in a slow pace, only to reach the Primary Stage of Socialism. And that’s when I was born and raised.

At that time, every morning from 7:30 to 12:00, every afternoon from 14:30 to 17:00, and every night from 19:30 to 21:00, I had to sit in front of the desk, pretending to be studying. Studying is good, but I didn’t know why I had to study, or why I had to study well, which made it very boring! Therefore, in those identical days of almost twenty years, I learned how to kill time by myself.

Duration: Xing Xin will perform in the Random Room from 7.30pm till late,

4. Jason Lim

Jason Lim’s practice transverses ceramics, sculpture and performance art and is regarded as a maverick in the ceramics field, Lim has radically shifted assumptions about ceramics as a discipline, pushing its potential as a media in installation and performance art. Lim’s performances often play on boundaries of risky precarious situations, teasing the audiences with a cheeky use of the materials and spaces. He has participated in various international performance festivals and had taken up residency programs in Japan, The Netherlands, Australia and U.S.A. Lim was involved in initiating “UTOPIA”, an alternative art gallery in 1996 and was co-Artistic Director of Future of Imagination 2, in 2004. In 2005, he organized StopOver – Singapore/Japan performance art meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Singapore. In 2007, Lim presented his work in the Singapore Pavilion for the 52nd Venice Biennale in the same year he was awarded the Juror Prize in the 4th Ceramics Biennale in Incheon, Korea. In the following year, his work was shortlisted for the Grand Prize in the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale 08.



Title: Toys, experiments and other accidents.

Description: This performance is the first of a new series of work that I have been researching and experimenting since the last few years. In my research I have been trawling through the internet to learn about home made scientific devices and experiments. In my research, I was fascinated by the element of sounds that were produced from simply made kinetic devices and sound making mechanics. I am also interested with the sometimes unexpected outcomes and visual effects that these objects and materials (simple household and consumption materials like, batteries, magnets, cloth hanger, soft drinks just to name a few). During the performance I will construct these devices live and generated will be amplified to create a soundscape during the performance.

Can Cannot Also Can

7 04 2011

In a project called “Give Peace A Chance Redux” Lee Wen had re-visited the legendary “Bed-in for peace” performance of Yoko Ono and John Lennon during 11 to 15 September 2006 together with Kai Lam. They occupied an empty shop space for five days and installed a bed for sitting and discussing “war and peace”. The shop became a bed room decorated with hip tie-dyes, colorful rugs and carpets, a television showing the video documentary of the legendary “Bed-in” running in a loop and an anti-war poster corner where visitors can paint and put up on the wall their own messages against the futility of war. The project was also part of the Singapore Management University Arts festival and my work responded to a number of contexts quite uniquely Singaporean, such as the ban on public protests and blocking out the black-listed activists from entering the country during the World Bank meeting being held that week. Given the fame of John Lennon and the Beatles amongst youthful music lovers compared in contrast to ignorance of Yoko Ono’s art departures and “Bed-in for peace” seen as an extension of Ono’s performance art interventions gave an opportunity to provoke interest in performance art as legitimate art practice. Lee however was shocked in over hearing a passing student scornfully tell his girlfriend that John Lennon is a no good hippie, drug imbibing bum amongst other derogatory gibes and discouraged her from participating in our project. Turning to Kai Lam, Lee wondered aloud: “what kind of brain washed dudes are there among these kids and how come?” and said it is time to become a “Born again Hippie”.

"Give Peace A Chance Redux", 2006

In 2007 Lee began the new series: “Too Late The Hippie” after seeing the tourism board promotional slogan: ‘Uniquely Hip Singapore’. Responding to the irony of how hippie culture were once seen as a threat to traditional values, defiance of authority in the face of dominant global market capitalism and the acceptance of values once frowned upon into mainstream culture and especially the threat of communism at the height of the Vietnam war during the ‘70s. Playing devil’s advocate reminding and recalling that recent enthusiasm for healing the planet, disgust for chemicals, non-GMO seeds, concern for the environment, alternative health, humane treatment of animals, natural childbirth, developing the self, popular music and various prevalent attitudes actually began and proliferated from the 1960s hippie counter culture movement.

In 2007 while participating in “Interakcje 2007″ Piotrkow Trybunalski in Poland Lee also began his ordeal with Parkinson’s Disease. In response, he began new works, which incorporated his physical condition. Nicknamed “Stagger Lee”, as he began walking with a staggering gait he started to perform a new series based on the story of “Stagger Lee”, a legendary real life bad man in American folklore seen as the embodiment of evil. Lee took up the shaman-like role as if personifying the evil character and creating a humorous ritualistic séance with the intention of dispelling the evil from this world.

In another series, he re-interpreted “Rite of Spring” (Le Sacre du Printemps) using the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s once controversial ballet first conceived a century ago. Lee moved to dance in order to continue the perpetual search for the resolution of conflicts and reconciliation of contradictions through the self imposed task of activating and performing the body in sickness.

With “Anyhow Blues Project” Lee characteristically continues to manifest these various contradictions, using a renewed interest in popular folk music genre as a (re-) starting point. By singing, some self composed songs as well as old classics as a starting vehicle; the “Anyhow Blues Project” confronts various issues related to contemporary the hypocrisy of ‘serious culture’ and other ‘dead art’. As an avid follower of Frankfurt School of philosophy, Lee acknowledges his disagreeing from Adorno’s criticism of popular music in dismissing the protest songs of the ‘60s as pretentious commercialism. Lee investigates nuances of social discontent against the current trends of euphoric celebration manifested in propagation of art biennales and globalization of the art market. He expresses the desperate struggle for the individual to assert a place in a commercially driven and essentialist engineered culture of contemporary society, crying for local folk music if not art in deserving legitimacy against high powered commercial or exploitive fare in contemporary cultural discourse.

Lee Wen also returns to his earliest forays of poetry and singing. Besides the other influences, it was through poetry reading and jamming with Zai Kuning at The Artists Village that started him on the road to performance art and other experimental practices. He explained in a recent interview: “ Zai is the guitar maestro, I just do the basic chords but I liked making up songs with my own lyrics. Therefore, my first actions were readings, which I dropped out of eventually and when I went full swing into it, I forget all about the guitar and songs. With medication now, my fingers start to move like it did before and while hanging out with Zai again after long years of going in different directions, it was such a joy to play the guitar and sing again that I had to get into the “Anyhow Blues Project”. It’s really a part of how I cope with my health as much as it’s a comment on society and life, and also about the trials and tribulations of friends like Zai and the Artists Village.”

After performing solo in various performance art gigs since September 2010, the Anyhow Blues Project has evolved through various intense contradictions and complexities. Working with the inspiring provocateur Zai as well as Reef and Hafiz, active players of our neglected alternative music scene, Lee hopes to help steer Anyhow Blues into reconciliation and redemption. Together with the ‘Anyhow Blues Project’, they will rock anew the folk dimension of Lee Wen’s earlier solo acoustic attempts.

They will perform all original compositions by Lee Wen, as much as before gutsy and poignant, personal experiences that relates to current cultural climates. Songs like “Art is Dead” deliver a punchy tune with simple lyrics warning us of the impending death trivializing our humanity by placing emphasis on market values and mindless consumer tastes for shameless repetition of tested formulas rather than research, innovations and explorations of new ideas and current questions of humanity’s directions.

Join them for a concert closer to your roots and help resurrect dead art!


Zai, Reef, Wen and Hafiz in the studio

Date: 15th and 16th April 2011
Time: 7.30 pm to late
Venue: The Substation, Theatre
Address: 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936

Zai Kuning guitars.
Reef bass
Hafiz Bastard drums

Performance by Lee Wen (solo) 7:30pm
Acoustic (solo) 8.00pm
Interval 8:20pm to 8:30pm
Electric Set
with Zai, Reef and Hafiz 8:30pm to 10:00pm

Acoustic (solo) – Lee Wen

Admission : S$10 only
(you are allowed to sneak in free by order of the Anyhow Blues Project)
after all this is not a Bob Dylan gig!

‘CanCannotAlsoCan’-poster design by Lin Shiyun, painting by Elena Erikkson,

“Anyhow Blues Project” premiered at 9th International Performance Art, Turbine, Giswil Switzerland, Sept.11, 2010.

The “Anyhow Blues Project” series had been presented at:


–       9th International Performance Art, Turbine, Giswil 2010, Switzerland

–       Rencontre internationale d’art performance de Québec, Quebec, Canada

–       Survey from Singapore, FADO, Toronto Free Gallery, Toronto, Canada

–       4 Directions from Asia, Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

–       Action Script: Symposium on Performance Art Practice and Documentation in Asia, Hong Kong

–       Performance Platform Lublin 2010, Poland

–       BONE 13 – Festival für Aktionskunst, Berne, Switzerland


–       R.I.T.E.S. “Rooted In The Ephemeral Speak” #01/2011, The Substation, Singapore

–       “This Is Performance Art”, Aberdeen, Scotland

–       ”Song”, with Reef, Singapore Art Museum, AfterHours Grounded Party, “Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia.






24 03 2011

NOW! performance art event

is an attempt to be against the routine of an academic system. Located in NTU, the event is organized by and for NTU community. Happening a week after the term break, when students are slowly getting into preparation of exams, this event aims to provide an alternative experience within the commonplace of the campus.

Artists involved are Ayano Hattori, Grace Jean, Jason Lee, Kelvin Atmadibrata, Malvina …Tan, Marla Bendini, Teow Yue Han and Vincent Chow.

date: 25 March, Friday
time : 2-6pm
site: ADM, NTU Canteen A and outside NTU

schedule of performances:

NTU Canteen A
2pm to 4pm : Teow Yue Han, Projection III
5pm to 5.30pm : Grace Jean, A Probable Error

ADM Lobby
3pm to 3.30pm : Marla Bendini, Surrogate N°1
3.30pm to 4pm : Malvina Tan, Make-up

ADM Cafe
2.30pm to 4.30pm : Ayano Hattori, (untitled)
4pm to 4.30pm : Kelvin Atmadibrata, White Crane

Outside NTU
2pm – 6pm : Vincent Chow, Hello Stranger

Documentation of the event will be showcased as a one-day show

date: 5 April, Tuesday
time: 1-8pm
venue: Dahlia Gallery, 69A Pagoda Street, Chinatown MRT

Butterflies in my stomach, Bees around my head.

4 03 2011

Angie Seah will be performing during the opening night of her solo exhibition at The Esplanade (Jendela) on 10th March 2011, 7pm.

Please click here for more details.

Performance Art as a Way of Thinking

14 02 2011

What is performance art and how has it developed, especially over the last 20 years? Artist and writer Ray Langenbach will argue that performance art is a way of thinking through the medium of daily life. He will speak on the ways that the field of performance art has expanded due to the diversity of methods and philosophies amongst practitioners and recent developments in the related theoretical field of performance studies. Citing examples from Asia, Europe and the Americas, he will focus on the relationship of performance art to the behaviours of social and political life.

Ray Langenbach’s performances, videos and installations have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Werkleitz Biennale; Asia Pacific Triennale, and the Gwangju Biennale. His research interests lie in socialist realism in Southeast Asian art and performance. He is the the Star Foundation Professor, Faculty of Creative Industries at Tunku Abdul Rahman University, Malaysia and Affiliated Researcher at the Finnish Theatre Academy. Langenbach is currently working on an archive of Southeast Asian social and aesthetic performance.

Date: 15 Feb 2011, Tuesday
Time: 7:30pm to 9pm
Venue: SAM at 8Q, 8 Queen Street.

An interview with Lee Wen, Kai Lam and Melati Suryodamo

12 02 2011

It was a hectic first week and many of us were still hung over the New Year celebrations. The Sub-city Rockers program of home-grown alternative music blasted the Substation as they started the New Year’s line-up of artists both new and familiar giving us performances with refreshing promise. The three-storey Substation had ended 2010 with works from Khairuddin Hori (Us and Them and You) and the annual Graey Festival, a plethora of contemporary performing artists from South and Southeast Asia. Singapore’s art scene began the year buzzing with Art Stage Singapore held from 12th till 16th January bringing to our shores the likes of Germany based, Indonesian artist Melati Suryodamo, thanks to Valentine Willie Fine Art. This short trip to Singapore gave R.I.T.E.S. the chance to invite Melati in their inaugural 2011 program. A hiccup with approval of the permit for artist Seelan Palay did not set back the tone of the day. Sha Najak who attended the event found that a review of the show would not show justice and resorted to interviewing the artists individually about their performances. Lee Wen, Kai Lam and Melati Suryodamo tell Sha Najak the concepts behind their latest performance presented for R.I.T.E.S. held at The Substation on 15 January.

(SN=Sha Najak / MS=Melati Suryodamo / LW=Lee Wen / KL=Kai Lam)

SN: The first part of your performance looked like it was set in a bedroom. Was this what you intended it to be?

MS: If the image has given you a scene of a bed room, I accept that. But for me it is about going out of from a home, through the door and sleep out of the common space. I wanted to bring out the anxieties of stepping out and the fear that every child might have when they leave their parents home.

SN: Tell me about the part where you danced on stage with a red cloth. What was it about?

MS: For this performance I tried to formulate my understanding about gestures of homeless people. When I was travelling to some places, I observed homeless people on the streets, under the bridges, in front of the shops, the market, etc.  I’ve not seen many homeless people in Singapore.

It is related to my personal stage of being homeless or not having the real sense of rootedness. I lost it gradually and have been reducing the concept of home, back into the most minimal state of it, which is the body and nothing else.

I was not intending to move around and travel to different places, but more about releasing the possession of materials that bound my life. It is such a relief to be in a state of mind where there is nothing to lose. All dimensions were reduced into a narrow scope, and the big world out there feels like a wave of air, bringing me from one spot to another spot. It does not matter where. Like a little fish in the ocean, like a bird moving over the continent, like the sand in the river.

SN: What was going through your mind with the marching scene? Is it an ode to your native country, Indonesia?

MS: Actually it has nothing to do with any specific country. But the military gestures, came up to my mind when I remember how our mentality was educated to build up our nationalism. Yes sure, I received this indoctrination when I was a child. When our country cannot protect us and respect your basic human rights, how are we supposed to relate to nationalism? And why nationalism? Some children in Russia are military trained and prepared for war deliberately. They were told, to be ready to protect the country from enemies Ideology and politicians are using their young generation to form the the future of their country.

SN: The final part of your work is a scene where you cut out square boxes from a book of world maps. What was going through your mind?

MS: I refer to the idea of the world without borders, which is utopian. The borders exist and since they exist the world is divided into different kinds of classes. The idea of global market has not been a successful result. It overlaps older issues and brings the world into a different dimension. Recent political situation is an effect of a big change from the old form of polarization into new polarization. But polarizations are still there. If our humanity is not maintained, soon we will be losing trust on people’s origins, culture and respect to their beliefs. Cutting a square, making a hole on the map book, feels to me like digging the globe instead of embarrassing it.

SN: There were 3 parts to your performance – the folk music, the tea serving, the performance with the red slippers/red pail/box filled with fake defecate. The whole performance was called Anyhow Blues Project and I can see this in the folk music as well as tea serving. How does the third part (improvisation with red pail/slippers and box of feces) tie in with the Anyhow Blues Project?

LW: It is not very much a structured performance. I did it like a stream of consciousness through some songs I play and I talk a little about what the next song or previous one was about as I make some related or unrelated actions. For example, with the fake shit,  it refers to “same old shit” as in when history repeats itself. I sing a song with reference to licensing and censorship referring to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana’s visit in 1991, hence the dewberry perfume which was Cobain’s favorite perfume and sprinkled it on the plastic shit for the audience to sniff. I see this as an “anti-performance performance” as much as I see performance art as an “anti-disciplinary discipline” as Marvin Carlson in his definitive book termed it. A few years back we had a forum  organized questioning “Is performance art in a state of menopause?” Doing performance art can be as safe and complacent as any other genre of art as it becomes widely accepted into the mainstream. Yet many who take their “cutting edge” or avant-garde status for granted. In my attempts at working with ballet music or folk songs I try to look back in time and history at the same urge that is making work based on my personal life situation and current changes in society around me. I use the word ‘Anyhow’ as a cross-reference to Singlish to a make-do spirit but with an attitude in delivery i.e. Art based on conceptual thinking and philosophy. And not “anyhow anyhow”. So objects I use can be anything like a red bucket and a pair of clogs. Used in some focused actions, concentration of energies they just become dare I say it, “art” and I don’t mean dead art as in dead art.

SN: It was my first time learning that you survived Parkinson’s disease. To me, this is inspirational. Partly due to my experience in social work but also that you have picked up the guitar and started playing once again. Was there any connection of this in your ‘anyhow blues project’?

LW: I have been dealing with it since “Interakcje 2007” Piotrkow Trybunalski in Poland where I first got problems with moving my left fingers and left leg. At first I thought it was due to my scoliosis. After a wild goose chase with various doctors I found out it was Parkinson’s disease 3 years later. It had become so bad sometimes I could not type on the computer or open the door with a key or cut my own toenails. And I had played the guitar for a long time and used to do my own song which was why I got into performance, where I met and used to jam with Zai Kuning who read his poetry with The Artists Village in the past. Zai is the guitar maestro, I just do the basic chords but I liked making up songs with my own lyrics. So my first actions were readings, which I dropped out of eventually and when I went full swing into it I forget all about the guitar and songs. With medication now, my fingers start to move like it did before and while hanging out with Zai again after long years of going in different directions, it was such a joy to play the guitar and sing again that I had to get into the “Anyhow Blues Project”. It’s really a part of how I cope with my health as much as it’s a comment on society and life, and also about the trials and tribulations of friends like Zai and the Artists Village. As the songs were in the beginning mostly inspired while just spontaneously singing and playing about things we were talking about. There is much more about my relationship with language and music, death and suicide etc. as well. But I think you have to wait for the “book” in good time.

SN: Why did you serve blue tea to the audience? I recall you mentioned that the blue tea is good for detoxification. Is there an attempt to link this to for e.g., purification of the inside or were you trying to say that we should change within the self before seeing change on the outer self.

LW: For a start I work closely with visual images. So the blue tea strikes me as a visual rhyming with the blues I sing. And I do have a self-destructive nature, which is probably why my body is fucked, but I get back to the cleansing again and again. I am embodying my own contradiction and my life has always been a struggle to reconcile them that is how I see it. I admit that there is something rotten about me. My dig is that I am consciously trying to deal with what I think is relevant to others who may not notice it until maybe we make it available as art.

SN: One of your songs, ‘Art is Dead’ seems to reference local arts scene. Is this true?

LW: I try to relate what is happening to me in the local context as much as anywhere else. I find that the experience of globalization in Singapore is intense since the industrial age began. What happened here is even more intense because we are so exposed to the world and yet we’re a small island city-state, controlled by a nanny mentality government that I fear some of the not so egalitarian policies are spreading to the rest of the world without anyone noticing. There is a tendency to read into what is happening with the socially engineered cultural developments as all growth and generative in human consciousness but in truth this could actually killing or is killing our humanity quicker than we are aware of it. I hear more young artists make works based on research of what is happening in prize winning trends set by international branding and Mafioso curators rather than based on actual life experiences or their own evaluation of human values. The emphasis of our media in highlighting the success of artists are based on market value and their shameless repetition of tested formulas rather than research, innovations and explorations of new ideas or debate on social values and our human conflicts with power and evil. We are trivializing our humanity which is already extreme and dangerously surrendering our ethical core of civilization to greed disguised as progress, development and nation building. My song is a warning cry in desperation.

SN: You mentioned in your performance that your work touches on removing the self from representation. Could you elaborate more on this?

KL: My sound works allow me to remove myself from the visual representations temporarily. By removal, I meant sound works as an alternative to the visual culture. It allows me, to put away the obvious representations that come with a baggage of my cultural ethnicity and social / individual background as a visual artist.

This comment was made as a reference about sound based works in relation to performance art. Sound works are by nature non-visual and it shares inherent qualities with other performance forms as a ‘live’ expression performed to an audience in a given time and space. By non-visuals, it does not oppose the sensibilities of the visual but rather it exists as a parallel form of expression, at times merging into a singular inter-disciplinary art form.

SN: Have you ever done work on consumerism/environmentalism before?

KL: I am not working directly on ‘green’ issues or consumerism/environmentalism.  As a ‘global citizen’ living in a industrialised society, one cannot avoid ecological and environmental issues  as we come into daily contact with mass produced daily needs and contribution to impending wastages. I see ‘environmentalism’ or ‘consumerism’ as manufactured concerns, coming from a new 21st century schizophrenic consciousness that is arising out of our fears and aspiration for our heavily industrialised future. But more importantly to me, it is about individual direct actions and working out rational responses, not for, or against any movements, but observing, questioning and interacting through acts of art and maintaining a neutral position consistently. This is my artistic goal.

SN: You mentioned that you’re trained in visual arts but that your sound work is an extension of your visual art practice. How did you make the transition and where else will your work evolve into?

KL: I like to explore the hybrid in art, as each encounter brings me new perception on the processes and reproduction of art. By ‘evolve’ I assume you mean transitions or crossovers from various disciplines in my artistic work. When I was beginning to work as an artist in the mid-90s, I could not afford to rent a studio to work in, the question was how can I transform my art production into processes to respond to my personal accessibility? So I did away with the traditional studio framework of art-making and I found a process in performance art, producing more site-specific and material-based works of ephemeral nature. It transformed my outlook about art greatly, but I am still engaged in ‘traditional’ forms of art making constantly.

Traditional art forms like sculpture and painting are equally important in cross-genre works, the ‘inter-disciplinarian’ way of working by artists has been going on since a long time, it becomes more evident in this era as ‘art’ is constantly being analysed and categorised to fit into a perceived cultural framework to serve certain functions. To me, it’s the ability to integrate different forms of creative practices into an entire whole that is the ingenuity in art’s hybrid form.

SN: How did your trip in India impact on your practice? Can you talk more about what you will be doing in Varanasi?

KL: I think India has to be experienced in the real to be able to grasp a true understanding of the place, its people and its long history as one of the earliest human civilisation.  My words are mere descriptions, and will not be able to capture the true meanings of India here.

India inspires me to create, but at the same time, I am cautious about romanticising its cultural meanings and significance as an artist working with tendencies to ‘appropriate’ contexts or ideas. I had the possibility to re-invent my language in particular with recyclable materials as art. In my last trip to the southern states of India, through observation of the Indian people’s daily pragmatism and largely due to economical factors, recycling is like an industrial part of the Indian society. Recycling serves as an alternative way to use lesser mass consumer products, it also makes full use of a certain material and transforms it to give it a new function. This approach can contribute fairly to the ecological equilibrium and this is a model that can be appropriated into artistic productions.  For me it is insightful to experience how recycling can be a part of the everyday life in India, and it inspires me to adopt such approach in art making.

In Varanasi, I will be observing the Mahashivaratri festival. It is a holy festival where Hindu devotees worship Lord Shiva consistently for three days as a ritual of devotion to the Hindu god, and at the same time, there is also Drupad Mela (3-days festival of Indian music) by hundreds of musicians in the streets, numerous Hindu temples and Ghats along the Ganges River. To my tourist-gaze, it will be a carnival of music, colour, sound, in one of the holiest city on earth and I am looking forward to it!

(Photos by Jason Lee)


9 02 2011

Call for papers, presentations and performances for

LAPSody – 3rd International Conference & Festival for Live Art and Performance Studies from the 7th of June 2011 till the 12th of June 2011

The MA degree programme in Live Art and Performance Studies at the Theatre Academy Helsinki is calling for papers, presentations and performances from MA-projects in Live Art, performance art and performance studies.

Suvadeep Das, Christina Georgiou, Sari TM Kivinen, Katariina Mylläri, Ilka Theurich and Tuuli Tubin, are MA-students in Live Art and performance studies and approaching the end of their two year studies. They will present their MA-projects — in various stages of completion — and challenge you to share your own artistic practice and/or academic papers with them.

We have been exploring and questioning issues of perception, embodiment, transformation and encounters. We are interested in cycles of popularity, acceptance and norms in performance, academia, everyday life and art. We would like to invite you to share your ideas and contributions with us on those or related themes. We are also interested in forming professional networks and discussing possibilities of sustaining a Live Art practice in the globalised world today.

We invite proposals for performances, presentations, papers and/or workshops for the conference and festival with an abstract of max 300 words. All proposals should include a short description of your (previous or forthcoming) MA-project, your university or institution, your contact details as well as technical requirements for your contribution.

Spaces available include two black box studios, an auditorium and seminar rooms as well as public spaces in the city. We can provide basic accommodation and lunch in the student cafeteria. The travel costs you have to take care of yourself. Proposals should be sent no later than 1.February 2011 to
Annette Arlander (annette.arlander@teak.fi)
Anna Nybondas (anna.nybondas@teak.fi)

NB: please send to both addresses.

Applicants will be informed of their acceptance by 15. February
and asked to confirm their participation by 15.April.

For more information and inquiries, contact
Katariina Mylläri, katariina.myllari@teak.fi
Tuuli Tubin, tuuli.tubin@teak.fi

Come and experience Helsinki’s white nights and the Baltic sea. A perfect place to share a summer day, evening and why not a summer night with us in June 2011.

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