EVENT13.08.2023 / 12.30pm2.30pm

Samiir Saunders

Vivid Projects + Ikon Performance Art Laboratory

Mind Control Victims Anonymous (MCVA) 

Mind Control Victims Anonymous (MCVA) is an interactive poetry performance taking the form of a fictional mind-control support group. The performance navigates themes of free will, coercion and the relationship between an audience and a performer. Saunders explores the conditions of emotional endurance, vulnerability and care required for a completely improvised performance. This event encourages audience interaction. 

This performance draws on the tools gained through participation in Melati Suryodarmo’s performance art laboratory, Present to Presence, at Ikon in May 2023. 

“I am excited by the opportunity to learn from Melati’s meditative and physically embodied approach to performance. I aim to expand my toolkit with strategies for deepening my artistic freedom, improvisation, and connection to my body.” Samiir Saunders 

Presented as part of Melati Suryodarmo’s exhibition Passionate Pilgrim (17 May – 3 September 2023).

Connections Through Culture grants programmeBirmingham City University, University of Leeds, and the Melati Suryodarmo Exhibition Circle: A.I. GalleryShanghART, 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 

Samiir Saunders (b. 1996 – he/they) is a multimedia poet based in Birmingham, working primarily within the realms of spoken word, hip-hop, live coding, poetry film and performance art.  

Saunders’ creative work is dedicated to modelling playful vulnerability, in order to arm individuals with the tools to be curious, compassionate and vulnerable in their own daily lives and relationships. This work often lands on themes of Black joy, queer love, climate justice, shame, (mis)communication, intimacy and the Internet. 

Event Date

This event has passed

Event Details

Second Floor Galleries 

Content warning: This performance references adult themes. 

Free entry, donations welcome. 

No need to book, just drop in. 

Seating available. 

Information on Ikon Gallery’s accessibility is available here.

For additional access enquiries please contact education@ikon-gallery.org

This event is being photographed and filmed. Please speak to the photographer or filmmaker if you prefer not to be included.


Ikon Gallery

1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HS

Image Credits
1. Samiir Saunders Supernormal Festival. Photo Credit: Antonio Roberts (2022) 2. New Art Exchange - Charlotte Jopling (2021) 3. Algo Afro Futures 1 - Marcin Sz (2021) 4. Digital While Black - Chella Ramanan (2019)


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Melati Suryodarmo
Passionate Pilgrim
Last week we launched our new exhibition with Melati Suryodarmo, Passionate Pilgrim. Melati Suryodarmo is one of Indonesia’s most important living artists, known for her strenuous durational performances that last several hours, testing the limits of the human mind and body
Events/Talk04.06.2023 / 6.30pm7.30pm
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Melati Suryodarmo and Present to Presence artists 
Panel Discussion
Join Melati Suryodarmo and artists who have participated in the Present to Presence performance art laboratory for a panel discussion, during which they discuss their experience of taking part in the project and their concluding performances.  
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Passionate Pilgrim
In summer 2023, Ikon transforms its galleries into a platform for performance art, with the first UK exhibition by acclaimed Indonesian performance artist Melati Suryodarmo (b.1969).   

1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace
Birmingham, B1 2HS

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