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Qawalli in Yousuf Baba Dargah Hyderabad India
 
14.02.2016


- I was in India for 3 months.
In Bangalore I gave a workshop as part of the Interim program of Srishti school of art and design. The title of my workshop was Voice: time/space.
After the Srishti workshop I travelled for one month to other places in India in order to experience various forms of music and sound in which the voice plays an important role.
Read more below:

- Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam will include two drawings of the three-part series ‘Names: sections of the head’ 1996 in the museum’s collection. One part, Axial Sections, was already there since 1997.

- Rotterdam performance artist Ieke Trinks asked me to verbally describe one of my solo performances for her archiving project ‘Performance Monologues”.

- Due to renovations and the changing function of the former VROM-building (Ministry of Housing, Planning and environment) in Den Haag, a series of 8 drawings in the collection of Rijksgebouwendienst was returned to me.
The drawings belong to my earliest works that are built up of statistic data of processes of energy - in this case the weather - as related to the concept of the now dismantled sound installation Clouds 7 in the c-block elevators.
A year ago 6 early drawings returned from Equilibrist Gallery in St. Niklaas (B) where they had been stocked in an unknown place for 25 years.


I was in India for 3 months.
In Bangalore I gave a workshop as part of the Interim program of Srishti school of art and design. The title of my workshop was Voice: time/space.
I worked with a group of 9 female students.
Besides improvisational voice exercises and trainings related to time and space, I organized some performances of my own works for multi-voices, as a way of making the participants experience time and space in both mental and physical way: from time to time in the buildings or on the campuses of Shristi voices could be heard, pure or amplified by paper horns.
As a conclusion of the workshop the group performed Language a piece based on the seven individual Indian languages which were spoken by members of the group.

The workshop was also an interesting experience for myself due to the fact that I again had to formulate why, as a performance artist, I feel strongly connected to the realm of rituality and had to find ways of practically working around this concept with a group of young students.

My wish to be in India was based on my growing awareness of the relation between forms and procedures in the organization of sounds in non-western ritual music, and forms and procedures in my own works.
It was for the same reason that I stayed in Istanbul in april/may of this year.
After the Srishti workshop I travelled for one month to other places in India in order to experience various forms of music and sound in which the voice plays an important role.
This brought me to concert halls where I attended concerts of classical Indian music, both Carnatic and Hindustani (Bangalore, Calcutta) to Dargahs where qawalli is performed (an exiting Sufi mixture of Arab and Hindustani musical elements) in Hyderabad, Ajmer and Delhi, to temples of Hindu’s, Jains and Sikhs (Bikaner, Varanasi) to the folk music of the Rajasthani desert (Bab)……

These experiences with live performed music as well as my work with the group of students has intensified my interest in the relation of (performance) art and ritual.
It arose many thoughts and questions about the relation between art and audience (basically there is no audience in ritual and devotional music), art and aesthetics (the roughness of Hindu ceremonies) art and success, emotion and devotion, ceremony and entertainment, structure and improvisation (maqam in Turkey, raga in India), the western orchestra with a conductor and the Indian classical music where musicians often haven’t met each other before entering the stage.