Monday, 19 December 2011

Dreamtime with Simbi Dare and Nicola Morton - AKSI REVOLUSI

Nicola Morton as The Rabbit
Simbi Dare as The Dragonfly

Escort you to Dreamtime in between the Banyan Trees, October 26 2011 at Alun Alun Kidul, Yogyakarta - the resting place of the gods and then sing...

Problem: Revolution action is needed to change the fabric dimension of society to a place where we all hold empathy and have what we need - a dreamtime dimension. S&M's penultimate performance in Indonesia. Nicola and Simbi's medicine cards that represent our link to above and other dimensions are the Rabbit (fear) and the Dragonfly (illusion). This performance was to transform the fears and illusions we had presented in our previous performances and use the energy to expose the world to dreamtime. We used a famous public gateway in Yogyakarta, the banyan tree gates at the Sultan's Palace. According to tradition if you walk from the top of the park thru the middle of the gate you will have unlimited success. Every night locals and tourists try to get thru the cosmic gateway, often other musicians and people trick and distract you from getting through the gate. Dressed as the rabbit and dragonfly we tried to make our way through the 2 trees. On our 3rd attempt, we finally got to the middle and unpacked the gender (Javanese xylophone) and microphone and sang the lyrics of Atari Teenage Riot's "Revolution Action" which we had modified and translated to Bahasa Indonesian (a language not native to the area, but a simple, universalizing language of the area). At the end we wanted to destroy the rabbit and dragonfly as they draw fears toward us and get trapped in illusion. So the rabbit was eaten by a Javanese wooden tiger puppet and the dragonfly costume was going to be burned but at the last minute Simbi decided to give the costume to a little girl who had watched the whole performance in the audience. Having shed our fears and illusions, we get through the gate.  That night  Simbi met a new friend who has tattooed on his chest, "Be Careful What You Wish For." We drew new cards for our entrance to dreamtime, Nicola is the antelope or knowledgeable action and Simbi is the butterfly, or projects and transformation. For Christmas Simbi performed a potlatch, or Native American ceremony in which you give away and burn all your belongings.  An enormous sparkly dragonfly divebombed into the fire.
Saat hidup, Saat mati Saat hidup, Saat mati Saat hidup, Saat mati Saat hidup, Saat mati Saat hidup, AKSI REVOLUSI Kalian akan mati, untuk apa Kalian akan mati, untuk apa (AKSI) Kalian akan mati, untuk apa Kalian akan mati, untuk apa AKSI REVOLUSI Membakar kengarian pemerintah yang berkuasa Dengan pistol mengarah ke kepala Saya menyadari apa yang tidak saya dapatkan Banyak orang punya kekuatan tapi tidak satupun dari kita semua Setiap jam media katakan apa yang salah Berdiri di dalam tenggorakan singha dan saya mau tau hidup kalian menyebalikan di bendingkan dengan hidup saya dan teman2 saya Perusak ke tengah2 ikut hati mu AKSI REVOLUSI Kita akan mati, untuk apa? Kita akan mati, untuk apa? (AKSI) Ini bukan merusak diri sendiri Ini bukan merusak diri sendiri AKSI REVOLUSI

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

How I Survived a Kuntilanak Attack (Transforming Women on Women Rage)

Women are often oppressed in society by men and their fellow women and can’t express their feelings and anger. This oppression can give women a supernatural power which might lash out at just anyone without them even being consciously aware. Since revenge seems impossible in the physical world this causes powerful living spirits to emerge such as kuntilanak and sundel bolong (Indonesian female ghosts). However when this repressed violence becomes supernatural, kuntilanak tend to take it out on just about anybody, that’s why everyone is afraid of kuntilanak. This performance is about recognizing that from having this living spirit given to us thru oppression we can use it consciously rather than unconsciously to change society.

Simbi and Nicola have faced living spirits before and recognize the challenge of going further than being captivated by them. Derrida in Specters of Marx (1994) describes our struggle as follows: 
“One must have the ghost’s hide and to do that, one must have it. To have it, one must see it, situate it, identify it. One must possess it without letting oneself be possessed by it, without being possessed of it (…) Is not to possess a specter to be possessed by it, possessed period? To capture it, is that not to be captivated by it?” 
So first we taunt the audience and embody the specter by singing "Spellbound" by Siouxie and the Banshees and then "Girls" by the Beastie Boys (“I want.. girls to clean the bathroom”) on the gender, a traditional Javanese xylophone (the only one a woman can traditionally play). We also give out locally made clove cigarettes and newspapers. Simbi and I are women taking on women ghosts and so we sing "Boom I Got Your Boyfriend" to set the scene for this women on women anger. Then comes time for transformation as we offer up our bodies for violence from the crowd and recreate our sense of victimization (a là Marina Abramovic “Rhythm 0” (1974)). We absorb the oppression and then transform it into screams, anger and sadness, whilst at the same time documenting our screams and keeping the energy in the physical world. The idea is that women’s supernatural power is potentially a force for societal transformation if used consciously. We decide to support women making music together, We recommend riotgirl music (like Sleater Kinney) for everyone by giving out free mix CDS. We then sing "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" first remixed jungle style then again on the gender. We harnessed the supernatural power of repressed women to consciously change society.