ROD 

An Interactive Artist/Audience Performance

Friday 23rd of June 2017

National Museum of Singapore

 

“My earliest memories of my family garden... handsome hazelnut bushes swaying by the swings, a delicious purple plum tree greeting the road and some prickly sour apples naughtily falling all over the roof terrace. Those noble plants nourished my human roots. Sometimes my heart is singing a silent song of longing for their attunement”. MAMAKAN, 2017

You are invited to explore the Danish word ROD and its different meanings (Naughtiness, Mess, Attunement) in this performance.

ACT I

NAUGHTINESS

The first meaning of “ROD” is a naughty (young) person, perhaps a bit rough and disobedient. How often do you get to touch, leave alone take apart, a work of art? Line up one by one outside the Treasure Island Botanical Wall. When it’s your turn, enter the island and find yourself a botanical jar that you feel a connection with. It could be on the basis of its name, colour, smell, anything...

Pick up the jar and bring it with you to the large jar, the “Fountain of Naughty, Messy Attunement,” at the centre of the installation.

ACT II

MESS

The second meaning of “ROD” is mess, a situation or circumstance characterised by a lack of order, overview or structure. Now, everyone gets to pour the carefully assembled contents of their jar into the fountain, making one glorious jumble. Pour the contents of your chosen jar into the “Fountain of Naughty, Messy Attunement” and place the empty jar below.

This act is inspired by Dionysian chaos, necessary to bring balance to Apollonian order. Like Buddhist monks who painstakingly create exquisite mandalas that are destroyed by the wind in a moment, understand that without destruction, there can be no creation.

ACT III

ATTUNEMENT

The third meaning is ROD is root: the downward part of a plant that attaches it to the soil, which absorbs, stores and transports water and nutrition from the soil to the plant. Take a glass and serve yourself and a fellow guest*. As we collectively imbibe the contents of the artwork, we are, quite literally, consuming the “Treasure Island” through the fertile fruits of its land. In doing so, we may become one with it and with each other.

*The botanicals have been preserved in ethanol (vodka) and are safe for consumption. Adults only.