Endurance Feminist Art

Kawita Vantanajyankur is an endurance video artist from Thailand. She positions herself in place of various objects used by women throughout their day, and photographs or captures the results on film. The idea is to immerse herself within the daily environments of people, and to evoke psychological questions of the effect the daily has on our psyche.

The Dustpan , Watch the video here.

Kawita gained international attention in 2014 with a video entitled The Dustpan. In it, Kawita hangs upside down with her hair sweeping the floor as though she was a broom, and she bangs her head into a dustpan. The work’s bright colours are a signature of Kawita’s aesthetic. “My series of video work and performance focuses on the female body and its relationship to different elements and everyday objects within various spaces and environments,” explains Kawita. “The experimentations are developed to look at the action and reaction of the body, the transformation of the shape and form of the body that is pressured to merged within the objects and elements until it is changed into a sculpture when affected physically from the elements and objects.”

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The Robes, Watch video here.

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Onto Fabrics: Watch video here. 

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The Basket, Watch video here. 

Kawita studied fine art at RMIT University in Melbourne, and has since held solo exhibitions all over Australia, Thailand, and Europe. She started as a photographer, creating domestic and gender charged scenes that comment on the female experience. Soon after, Kawita decided to create videos and incorporate the element of endurance art. “My work aims to examine the psychological, corporeal and cultural ways of viewing the human condition,” adds Kawita. “The various symbols contained in the videos are used to reflect the idea of violence, endurance, communication as well as gender.”

Luminous yellows, citrus greens and bubblegum pinks are distinctive of Kawita’s videos. Its a visual language of consumption and desire that speaks to a world of instant gratification and flattened complexity. However, this heightened superficiality lures you in only to confound your expectations, Vatanajyankur’s videos offer a powerful examination of the psychological, social and cultural ways of viewing and valuing women’s everyday labour.

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Kawita’s latest video series is called Work, and is a re-staging of a local fruit market. This exhibition is particularly telling of her Thai homeland, where, for many, daily chores aren’t always assisted by electronic contraptions but are time-consuming, physically exhausting, and often the task of women.

Work has Vatanajyankur undertaking physical experiments that test her body’s limits. In Carrying Pole (2015), for instance, bananas are thrown into woven baskets that hang off her body, which is suspended from string like a set of scales. “Extreme physical endurance offers me a way to free myself from my mind. Its a mechanism to lose my sense of being,” explains Kawita. “This deliberate objectification, she says, turns her body into sculpture.”

To learn more about Kawita, please visit her website.

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