Who am I?

Artist statement

Whether I’m dancing, doodling, collecting straight sticks, cultivating molds and slime, sculpting bioplastics or measuring my brainwaves, I want to sense what ‘free time’ feels like: I imagine it as a threshold to the more-than-human. So I listen… to the way time seeps into bodies, elements and materials. It’s a way to hear the flux that circulates and animates the nature-culture spectrum. Often, simple things like observing someone’s gestures feels like glimpsing the miraculous. This uncanny experience reveals the subtle dimension of thick viscous time; this nonhuman tempo is inside me, and the feeling that ‘my body is not really my body’ drives my radical curiosity about matter.

I craft across performance, film, sound, drawing and sculpture. Each work is a yarn, weaving itself into a larger question: how to attune to visceral knowing? Dance practice is the starting point, guided by the Buddhist, Sufi and Daoist nondual traditions. Moving in accord with the energies of chi and prana, ‘opening the heart’ in Sufi whirling, are all practices that nurture intimacy with invisible entities. My art works to harness seduction as the force driving a sensuous aesthetic, inspired by Indian rasa theory. I want to unleash a more-than-human eroticism that queers human thought habits and lets the metaphysical goo of the unknown seep in. People interacting with my works report sensing a glitch at gut level. I actively pursue these creepy vibrations, because, as rasa theory claims, these heightened states reveal ‘the (re)turn to the miraculous’.

In thinking of time, I’m thinking of the liquid logic that buoys me through my own life experience, always moving between identities, cultures and countries — India, France, Zimbabwe, Japan and the UK. I am from nowhere in particular, so I wonder who ‘I’ actually is? The answer is embedded in the shape-shifting flavour of my practice and the tidal nature of my choice of mediums and materials.

© Dominique Savitri 2021