a rendition of stifled ghost-spells
melissandre varin performs in Vivid Projects + Ikon, a performance art laboratory (10-13 August 2023). For four hours, the artist braids black synthetic hair whilst using molasses as a tool to interact with and transform the space around them.
This performance draws on the tools gained through participation in Melati Suryodarmo’s performance art laboratory, Present to Presence, at Ikon in May 2023.
From the artist
In a rendition of stifled ghost-spells, melissandre plays with the (im)possibility to conjure and exorcise intergenerational trauma with small gestures. Approaching the moment as an ana-choreography composed with crumbling building blocks. The performance might emerge as an over-scripted improvisation of Blackness.
“I am feeling very moved to have been invited into what feels like a historic moment for Birmingham and myself included. I am assembling a durational performance invoking braiding as a transmutation tool, small gestures forming everyday rituals, and trans-formation with and of (gallery) space.” melissandre varin
Presented as part of Melati Suryodarmo’s exhibition Passionate Pilgrim (17 May – 3 September 2023).
This exhibition is supported by Bagri Foundation, British Council through the Connections Through Culture grants programme, Birmingham City University, University of Leeds, and the Melati Suryodarmo Exhibition Circle: A.I. Gallery; ShanghART, Tanya Michele Amador and Michiel Verhoeven; and Michelangelo and Lourdes Samson.
It is developed in collaboration with Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN), Jakarta, Indonesia.
About the artist
Through performance arts, moving image assemblages and site-specific installations, among other things, melissandre varin investigates love, intimacy and tenderness. Making from an Afro and Caribbean diasporic context, melissandre varin adds layers of complexity using a situated Black feminism.
Events Room, First Floor
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1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HS