However, the handful of people who had flocked into the premises of Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), and the surrounding Chabir Haat area near Sohrawardi Uddyan yesterday, have agreed upon one thing that live art emanates something original, and it surely stands alone as a new mode of expression.
Ahsanul Rony, an employee of a travel agency, was found taking photos of the performances yesterday. When asked why he came here, he said that he saw some photos on Facebook and that got him interested to visit the place.
“This is new. I have never seen anything like this before,” said Rony, pointing towards what was happening.
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PHOTO: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN[/caption]
Out there, a bearded person was inviting the surrounding people to stand in a circle, with him in the centre. After forming the circle, he started rubbing a brown coloured material on his body. In the meantime, the people surrounding him started moving both their hands back and forth in a rhythmic manner.
The bearded person – Fernando Hermogenes, visited the first Dhaka Live Art Biennale from Brazil. He is a teacher living in Minas Gerais, a small township near Rio de Janeiro. Fernando is passionate about live art, and has taken his live performances to Uruguay, Poland, and Italy.
“My performance is about the conflict between the inner lone artistic self and the urge to get into stardom due to popular demand, by sacrificing one’s own artistic value. The people surrounding me, hailing my performance represents popular demand, while me, covering myself with brown colour represents the sacrifice of my own artistic self.”
Fernando said that he is very excited to be here. “I think Dhaka’s art scene is very lively and performance art will surely flourish here.”
Meanwhile, in another place inside the IFA premises, Arpita Singha, a fine art graduate from IFA, was performing with a bunch of roses and soap bubbles. Through her performance, she was trying to convey the message – freedom of feminists.
At the back, inside ‘Devaloi’ of IFA, Chelsea Coon, a performance artist from USA, was undertaking a painstaking performance of three hours. Inside the dark, dilapidated room, she was standing alone and scratching the walls. Her performance was about tempting failure.
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PHOTO: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU[/caption]
“Suffering for your art is one thing; suffering as your art is another,” commented Niloy, a photographer who was observing her performance.
Throughout the last day of the Dhaka Art Biennale, other performance artists, including Diniz Sanchez, Jaff Waley, Yazuru Maeda, Ashim Haider, Islmail Hossain, Mustafa Zaman, Tahmina Hafiz Lisa, Kamruzzaman Shadhin, Sanjid Mahmud, Amal Akash and Saleh Mahmud performed as well.
Sandy Hsiuchih, a curator of performance art from Taiwan who came here in Bangladesh said that, performance art no longer looks like a gallery sideshow or an add-on to the museum experience. “Performance is a genre in which art is presented “live,” usually by the artist, but sometimes with collaborators or performers. It has played an important role in avant-garde art throughout the 20th century,” he said.
“Dhaka has a vibrating art scene. I believe performance art will captivate the imagination of art-loving people here,” added Sandy Hsiuchih.