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Dhaka Tribune

2023 DAS Performance Art Highlights and Schedule

Visitors will be rewarded with experiences that delight, connect, spark reflection and moments of awe

Update : 02 Feb 2023, 08:27 PM

The Dhaka Art Summit has been envisioned as a participatory space, with performance art and interactive exhibitions scheduled through the nine days. Visitors will be rewarded with experiences that delight, connect, spark reflection and moments of awe.The performers of Miet Warlop's Chant for Hope will create take-away sculptures in real-time, and spectators at Bishwajit Goswami's Reetu may emerge with a famous new friend. Come interact with a digital ant colony in Afrah Shafiq's Where Do the Ants Go?, or get swallowed by the wonder of Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty's Belly of the Strange. Once regarded too experimental for Shilpakala's hallowed halls, performance art — a DAS hallmark through its six editions — takes its deserved place in Bangladesh's fine arts academe.

Miet Warlop 

Chant For Hope, 2022-2023

Venue entrance, 3-4 February, 11 am-12 pm and 4.30-5.30 pm (4 performances)

Participatory performance 

Commissioned by Samdani Art Foundation in partnership with KANAL-Centre Pompidou, Brussels with support from the Flemish Region of Belgium and EUNIC and Beximco

Inspired by the history of the language movement and movement of language in Bangladesh, Chant for Hope is participatory dancing sculpture designed to propel us past exhaustion.

Courtesy of Dhaka Art Summit

Seven performers sculpt a series of sixteen words in Bengali by flooding molds with plaster. These moving sculptures can be rearranged and find new meaning as they are passed between performers and the audience.The sixteen chosen words represent the spaces in between our thoughts. “We make stepping stones with mega-simple words towards the larger feelings that connect us,” says artist Miet Warlop. Spectators are asked to take all the words out into the 'real' world. The content of Chant for Hope thus spreads, inviting us to connect more as human beings. 

Courtesy of Dhaka Art Summit

If you see one of the “Chant for Hope” words out in the world, take a photo and post to social media, tagging #chantforhope.

If you are tired of carrying your word across the venue, lean it against the colored walls outside the Belly of the Strange. Anyone can pick it up and take it with them. 

You can also feel free to pick up any word left behind to take it home with you — participating in the spread of hope from Dhaka to the world in digital space.

 Bishwajit Goswami 

ঋতু(Reetu), 2022-2023

First floor, 3-5 and 10-11 February, 10am-1 pm

Mural and interactive performance  

Courtesy of the artist

Developed through an artist exchange with his daughter, Bishwajit Goswami's Reetu is an intimate exchange of feelings and words taking place between artist and spectator, self and other. On a bench places before a 21 ft x 15 ft mural of his daughter Borisho Dhora (meaning ‘rain and earth') lost in a daydream, the artist, DU fine arts faculty and founder of Brihatta Art Foundation will chat with individual visitors between 10 am-1 pm in a work of spontaneous performance art. “I welcome anyone to start a conversation with me regarding seasons or a personal story. If I find a word or sentence or a line of poetry, I will write it with Bangla calligraphy, if they allow,” says Goswami.

Courtesy of Dhaka Art Summit

Named after the Bengali word for season and a popular girls name, Reetu responds to the DAS 2023 theme ‘বন্যা (Bonna)', and metaphorizes both Bangladesh's six seasons and the seasons of a person's life. Just as the face of Goswami's daughter is overwritten with the word Reetu on the larger-than-life mural, visitors may emerge with their own faces marked with a special word in the artist's own hand.

Courtesy of Dhaka Art Summit

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