WATER Performance in Brooklyn

I am back in DC after a whirlwind trip to Brooklyn, NY for a new performance called “Water,” which was presented at Grace Exhibition Space as part of a summit and performances to mark the launch of Incidence magazine, focusing on performance art.
Four artists from DC performed on Friday night in RECORD & GHOST, curated by Eames Armstrong. The other performers were Ziad Nagy, Eames Armstrong, and Kunj Patel.

I enjoyed creating a new piece for the beautiful, intimate space. It was a wonderful, thoughtful audience that was at ease joining in the performance. Sherry Alberti assisted me in the performance. What a pleasure to connect with her!

Using water, saris, and fire, “Water” speaks to climate change and its destruction of lives and heritage.

I am spinning like a cyclone in and out of a chain of saris and the audience is holding the sari along the columns in the room in a u-shaped screen. As I walk around in circles seven times, I light on fire part of a red sari on top of a plate of rice (suggesting a Hindu funeral ritual for the loss of rice crops, lives, and heritage). Pages with the Katakhali women’s portraits and handwriting are ripped out of the Storytelling with Saris book and laid on the floor. They are one-by-one immersed in a vessel of water, which is slowly filled with water using a ladle until all the photos and writings are completely submerged. I write a wish for our planet and immerse it in another vessel of water, and then drink from it (suggesting a Muslim ritual to ward off bad spirits).

The saris in the performance were printed, written on, and worn by 12 women from Katakhali, Bangladesh, my ancestral village which is projected to be submerged under the rising seas within 35 years unless urgent action is taken.

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