Dominique Savitri BARON-BONARJEE | IN/FR/UK
Dominique Savitri Baron-Bonarjee is an artist whose work operates as a question. The question is rooted in the endlessly mysterious alterity that is the body: a body that is both, self-conscious identity – subject – and abstract materiality – object. The outcomes of this ‘embodied philosophy’ are her installations, performances, moving image pieces, drawings and writings, through which her practice continuously evolves as a dynamic open system. The question that recurs, explored from multiple scales and perspectives, is about identity and agency, in a world that is ‘more than just human’.
Through the quality of liveness, a form of hyper-sensorial attention, Dominique’s works propose a speculative science, both existential and experiential, that participates in an intimate relation with nonhuman agents. Her works emit an animistic attunement inciting new rites of passage for the era of the Wobble.
Space of the Nameless is Dominique’s current doctoral project, within the research cohort of the Art Department, Goldsmiths University of London. Her research questions look at how threshold states explored through the spiritual practices of ‘nondual’ traditions, can alter the sensorial modalities occurring at transitional moments between liveness and representation in artistic practice? And, how do the shifts of agency occurring in these instances allow for relations with more-than-human entities? Her methodology is comprised of inventive and embodied research practices, Sufi whirling and automatic drawing.
She collaborated with Astrida Neimanis, author of Bodies of Water, for Lofoten International Arts Festival 2019 (produced by Siouxzi Connor); She presented her lecture-performance Tales of Fabrication at the Tai Kwun Centre in Hong Kong for the ASAP Annual Symposium (2019), and screened the accompanying film at Tate Exchange, London. Her group choreography ‘Collapse at Sunset’ was commissioned by Chisenhale Dance Space for Encounter Bow (2019); To mark the day originally scheduled for Brexit, she created a collective public ritual of her ongoing performance ‘Collapse’ outside Kings Cross station.
In 2018, she received an Invention Creativity and Experience Award (ICE Fund) from Goldsmiths University for her participatory research project ‘What do We Know About Free Time?’ This comprised of a series of movement sessions and discussions exploring the relation of time, occupation and body. As part of this inquiry, she collaborated with Kobakant, an electronic tailoring collective in Berlin, to make a hand-crafted wearable technology object for her current project ‘Love is in the Wireframe’.
Dominique lived in Japan for four years, an experience that transformed her practice and outlook. She maintains a close connection with the contemporary art community there, through continuing conversations and collaborations with many Japanese and East Asian artists. She participated in the Nakanojo Biennale of Contemporary Art (2015 & 2017). In 2018 she collaborated with award-winning sculptor Kyoko Fujiwara, for the performance-installation ‘Arcadia: the Invisible Realm’(supported by the Art Department at Goldsmiths) based on her research into Artificial Intelligence with Tokyo Institute of Technology scientists, and the psychology of the flow state.