sourcemouth : liquidbody

(2016) three-screen film and sound installation, vocal composition, choreography, visual score and live performance

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Commissioned for Kochi-Muziris Biennale, SOURCEMOUTH : LIQUIDBODY is an audiovisual installation, featuring a visual-score and suite of films incorporating choreography, vocal composition, and costume. The installation flows between gesture and sound, inspired by the mnemonic landscapes of India and the relationships between river-systems and the human body.

The Nadi Varnana (River Description) from the Kutiyattam tradition – a form of ancient Sanskrit theatre practiced in Kerala – embodies the watershed mimetically, through a range of exaggerated gestures made with the eyes and hands, representing the river cycle as a sequence of codified movements – the first rain on the mountaintop, rivulets becoming mountain streams, fast flowing river, and, the completion of a slow meander to the sea. Tuulikki adapted this traditional sequence into a performance-for-camera with three interlinked films. In the first, her silver-painted figure traces a fluvial line embodying a river’s journey. The second is a startling close up of her open eyes performing gestures signifying the same transition from river source to mouth. In the third, her disembodied mouth incants instructions for the performance. Two visual scores are displayed nearby, transcribing the stages of the river embodied movement. An accompanying vocal composition created from multiple-layered vocals whose drum-like sounds conjure up the original percussion, playfully and poetically depict the sounds of rain, wind, insects, and the effects of water in motion.

SOURCEMOUTH : LIQUIDBODY is a work of hydrological expression, as universal as it is local.

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