Manila Contemporary is proud to host international artists Mella Jaarsma (Netherlands, Indonesia) and Melati Suryodarmo (Indonesia, Germany) for a special performance residency project. In collaboration with Manila-based artists Bea Camacho and Racquel de Loyola the project takes place from 4 May to 5 June 2011 with a final exhibition from 4 June – 26 June taking place in the gallery. The program aims to create dialogue, exchange, sharing, collaboration and knowledge production around the participating artists’ practice as well as the landscape of Performance Art in Manila, Indonesia and Europe.
Performance Art, with its roots in avant-garde movements in the 20th century, has sprung into a recognized art form that addresses issues of art and society. Throughout its history, Performance Art practices have occurred in various media and material, and spans from task-based activities to highly choreographed and ritualised works. Its contemporary significance is rooted in how it challenges and provokes audiences through its phenomenological immediacy as a happening or ‘live’ work, as well as its range of commentaries on politics-to-date, cultural experiences and psychological states.
Mella Jaarsma, lives and works in Yogyakarta and has exhibited extensively in museums and biennales throughout Asia and the Netherlands. Her work uses elaborate costume installations to communicate the symbolic and physical ways in which we negotiate group and personal identities. Likewise, the performances of Philippines’ 13 Artists Awardee Racquel de Loyola employs attire to question the consequences of colonization and globalisation of the Self. Reminiscent of these artists’ attention to material Bea Camacho makes a living sculpture out of herself in her recent performance practice. Her work is founded on the necessity of endurance, essential in her process of crocheting that eventually encloses herself into a self-made cocoon. The model of endurance-based performances is the axis of which Melati Suryodarmo’s internationally-acclaimed performances orbit. Testing human tenacity and stamina through her poetic overcoming, she engages in seemingly redundant actions that combine both her physicality with the foibles of her struggle. She has extensively presented her works in international festivals and exhibitions for almost two decades.
The four artists involved in this residency come together to present this range of practice and themes under a framework of qualifying time in durational performance. Under this umbrella, Camacho, de Loyola, Jaarsma and Suryodarmo will also unpick how history shapes the cultural context of Manila, Indonesia and Europe articulated in their respective oeuvres.
As part of the residency Manila Contemporary will facilitate a series of meetings for Jaarsma and Suryodarmo with artists and professionals involved in the Philippine contemporary art world. An Artists Talk will be held at The Living Room from 6 to 9pm in 19 May where Camacho, de Loyola, Jaarsma and Suryodarmo share their concerns as performance artists as well as special projects to date. The Artists talk will take place at The Living Room, Unit 24, North Syquia Apartments, 1991 MH Del Pilar, Manila on 19 May from 6 to 9pm. It is open to the public and free of charge.
In addition, Manila Contemporary will operate as a laboratory or open studio for discussion and performance through an auxiliary Workshop program and final presentation of the project in the gallery. Jaarsma will present the topic “How the material creates the meaning” to facilitate a reflexivity on the implications of a certain medium. On the other hand, “The Unspoken Language” by Suryodarmo examines the body as the primary agent in Performance Art. Suryodarmo will be introducing discursive methods in identifying the physical and the psychological body and its translation through performance. Workshops will be conducted on 26 and 27 May in the gallery at 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Workshops are free and limited to 10 people per session. Please contact Sidd Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org | +63917-8982680 to reserve participation.