Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Review (by Ko Ko Thett ) of The Fly -- by performance artist Htein Lin
Burmese performance artist/artist Htein Lin performing The Fly -- Helsinki, June 10, 2008. Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung.
Dear Aunty KM,
Thank you, Ko Ko Thett. This is very well written and does justice to Htein Lin's work -- here is comment I have left on Irrawaddy site:
I was at this Helsinki Conference, in fact the first of its kind incorporating artists and writers and poets as well as academics and dissidents. We know only too well that some Burma conferences like to pooh pooh dissidents, or anyone who takes a slightly different approach. In my view everyone has a right to express himself or herself, in whatever way he or she chooses, so long as other's freedom is not hurt.
Artists and writers typically use their own lives and traumas and real life as their raw material.
This is an excellent and sensitive review of art that is really at the cutting edge.
I want to add that The Fly -- did not have an overtly sexual aspect -- it was more about control and oppression. And also, since the red photograph depicting an abstract collage of what looked like beef bones and teeth, was lowered during the performance, the performer did not "appear nude" but more as if he had red tattoos on his body.
We also need to think -- if a woman -- a Burmese woman did this, would she be stoned to death literally and figuratively? I am thinking of a piece where a woman keeps putting on more and more clothes, more and more layers, until she can't move at all, can't walk at all.
Congratulations Ko Htein Lin and Ko Ko Thett, and Irrawaddy for publishing this.
Midway in The Fly, Htein Lin said to the interrogator, "I have no materials and so I am using my body."
Kyi May Kaung -- Artist
Posted by Kyi May at 1:44 PM