Counter Action (ii)

Performance Artifacts

During the installation/performance 'Counter Action (i)' Syowia attempts to go into a deep state of meditation, the duration of the performance is un-known; meditation as the highest form of emancipation, which is the key element of this work. How can we become one, go beyond the self and the other and reach a stage where we are everything and everything is us. A utopia where there would be no need for weapons or body armour for self-protection, where we are not governed by fear of the other. 

The costume designed by the artist is a white feminine trouser suit with exaggerated collar and shoulder pads. Syowia wears a wig, fake nails and eyelashes, her face has made up with foundation, and her wrists are covered with gloves and her ankles with stockings. The whole attire acts as armour, access to humanness is gone, and distance is created between the performer and the viewers. This distance is slowly peeled away by removing the wig and accessories, creating acts of vulnerability. The ceiling projection is of black and white photographs of images of boundaries, border patrols, and the weaponry used to define territories. This photo series was created in preparation for the performative installation that took on a different form. 

Glass Wooden Frame Triptych. Soil, Fabric, Shoes, Wig, Stockings and Photographs


160 x 120 cm

British Institute of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya