Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Formlessness and Freedom in Art Performance

This blog is created from my subjective experience as the curator/facilitator of this residency. I am an artist.

As an artist I created 2 very minimal performances (for me): on the roof of the residency as an experiment before a talk on "performance in the digital age" at Twilight, and on the bank of the Ganges river in Rishikesh. I found myself naked and in black for these performances, and had strong experiences both times, not necessarily obvious to anyone else. On new years day in Berlin I read about Kali at this link and pulled this together.

My experience of FORMLESSNESS / NOTHINGNESS albeit SURRENDER / LETTING GO / of KNOWLEDGE / UNDERSTANDING and therefore embracing ILLUMINATION / POTENTIAL in my 2 performance experiences (NAKED/BLACK) in the beginning of the residency on the roof and also toward the end on the Ganges River in Rishikesh, as illuminated by some of these words about KALI. And beyond this.

Not at all created from this text, or from Kali, but this text speaks to or re-contextualises these experiences of meditating/musing on both (nudity/black) for me in India during these performances. Just deepening into things I perceive already.
Perhaps a renewal on how we can perceive both nudity and black as a colour / conceptually / spiritually. For me if no one else. :)

I felt a large void between myself and my audience in both experiences, which I embraced. 1: Day to Night, nudity to black. 2: Black contrasted by white. Earth: decay, to Water: purified. Beyond understanding, formless and without comprehension of the mind. Nothing but potential. Deconstruction. Death to renewal. Freedom.


"Kali's nudity has a similar meaning. In many instances she is described as garbed in space or sky clad. In her absolute, primordial nakedness she is free from all covering of illusion. She is Nature (Prakriti in Sanskrit), stripped of 'clothes'. It symbolizes that she is completely beyond name and form, completely beyond the effects of maya (illusion). Her nudity is said to represent totally illumined consciousness, unaffected by maya. Kali is the bright fire of truth, which cannot be hidden by the clothes of ignorance. Such truth simply burns them away."

"The Goddess Kali is represented as black in color. Black in the ancient Hindu language of Sanskrit is kaala. The feminine form is kali. So she is Kali, the black one. Black is a symbol of The Infinite and the seed stage of all colors. The Goddess Kali remains in a state of inconceivable darkness that transcends words and mind. Within her blackness is the dazzling brilliance of illumination. Kali's blackness symbolizes her all-embracing, comprehensive nature, because black is the color in which all the colors merge; black absorbs and dissolves them."

"Just as all colours disappear in black, so all names and forms disappear in her"

-- Mahanirvana Tantra

"On the other hand, black is said to represent the total absence of color, again signifying the nature of Kali as ultimate reality. This in Sanskrit, the color black is named as nirguna (beyond all quality and form). Either way, kali's black colour symbolizes her transcendence of all form".


I had a very strong experience both times of formlessness/letting go/being absorbed by nothingness/ everythingness.

Conceptually and emotionally / spiritually. 

Thank you for your reflection. ! 

There is nothing to see. Just to feel. A letting go, surrender into.

Let the open space speak.
Heart listens.

Week 5 and 6: Rishikesh and Performances Chandigarh to complete 2017

All these photos are taken in RISHIKESH INDIA ON THE BANKS OF THE HOLY GANGES RIVER

Twilight Hindu worship ceremony
Jazmine Rose Phillips
Alexa Wilson and Kyah Dove
Work by Gabrielle New, collaborating with a group of the residents in Body Weather
Jazmine Rose Phillips
Alexa Wilson
Work by Gabrielle New, collaborating with a group in Body Weather
Jazmine Rose Phillips
Twilight Hindu worship ceremony on the Ganges
Alexa Wilson and Kyah Dove

Twilight Hindu worship ceremony of dancing



Work by Gabrielle New, collaborating with a group in Body Weather




Work by Gabrielle New, collaborating with a group in Body Weather
 

I have no photographs from the final week performances and Christmas as my smartphone was lost in transit back to Germany due to running between flights as I entered back to Europe! Letting go I guess! :)



Here is an article about the final performance days in Chandigarh 26th and 27th December 2017
http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/life-style/of-stones-crushed-petals/519313.html




Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Week 4: Chandigarh performance week 16th December Government Museum

Week 3 into 4 began with opening the new studio being built at the residency which is absolutely gorgeous. With all 20 artists now arrived (last 2 picked up on the day the studio opened) it was the first rainy day at the residency so it was super dark and wet, with electricity cutting in and out. Harpreet thanked the workers and people who created the studio, whom we watched finish it over the past 3 weeks and thanked myself and the artists for being there. I facilitated a lying down in the space in the dark together without light/electricity to arrive in the space together, which then morphed into beautiful sounds and voices echoing in the dark, which was haunting and also beautiful. Ada played songs from Sami culture and told us stories from her indigenous Norwegian culture for coming into Christmas, Jazmine sang a beautiful son and I read some edgy (lol) and satirical poetry inspired by the residency and by India. 

The artists prepare for a gallery show in Chandigarh on the 16th at the Government Museum Gallery and while workshops continue and morning classes with evening talks, the artists are consumed with their processes toward presentation.


The performance exhibition "Mother Tongue" in Chandigarh at the Government Museum Exhibition Hall fell coincidentally on the day which is a 5 year anniversary of a famous rape / murder case in Delhi which was also globally in the news, which a female reporter tells me on the day of our exhibition, the 16th of December 2017. So we begin the day with 17 works from 20 artists either durational, installation, performance, or sound works one on one, throughout the day which are attended by public in surges and also journalists interviewing us. The works are charged with feminism and socio-political or mystical, deconstructive content with a range of tones and voices. It is a powerful day, miraculously beginning and ending on time (I am used to organising chaos with 20 years experience). We have our first article in The Indian Express which is a nationwide newspaper, interviewed by Parul, who focuses on the feminist and socio-political content of the works and curatorial concept.



Sara Cowdell

RV Sanchez

Jazmine Rose Phillips

Ada Einmo Jürgensen in collaboration with Neetu Jodha, Rubal Preet Kaur, Sarwan Kashyap

RV Sanchez

Vicky Kapo 

Gabrielle New 

Josie Archer

Kyah Dove

Alice Colley
Laura Marsh

Joanne Hobern and Chelsea Baxter
Jonny Rowden

Sara Cowdell

Vicky Kapo

Ada Einmo Jürgensen in collaboration with Neetu Jodha, Rubal Preet Kaur, Sarwan Kashyap

Gabrielle New
Articles about this exhibition


And I continue to be fascinated by the animals here at the residency. I find myself coming closer and notice them coming closer, also to each other.




Healing workshop held by Alexa Wilson in the new studio


Formlessness and Freedom in Art Performance

This blog is created from my subjective experience as the curator/facilitator of this residency. I am an artist. As an artist I crea...