Immersing yourself in the object and becoming that object, that little part of life

Intro – Fitri
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fitri Setyaningsih started doing traditional Indonesian dance when she was a very young child and was so good at it that she would have 3 or 4 offers to perform each day. However, she was inclined to create her own works as well and was getting frustrated with feeling her body was too informed by stylized traditional dance. She left the city she was peforming in and lived in Yogyakarta for a long while until she felt her body became “normal” again. She describes an exercise she did with her friends where they attach themselves to an object, just any random object, until they become that object, and finds movement from there.

To describe the work she does, she showed a video documentary of I’m Almost Plastic, a series of photographs from her other recent works, and another video, but of the performance of the work with the blocks of ice, Dataran Yang Tarus Ke Dasar (Surface without an end).

I’m Almost Plastic had Fitri getting used water bottles from recycling centers, and she actually did a lot of washing. She and her dancers went to the river with their water bottle sculptures/armor/costumes and tried out movement and possibilities of the interaction with their bodies and the plastic, their bodies in the plastic. A nice thing that came out of working with the plastic experiments was she later learned that the town that used to watch her and her dancers experimenting in their river had become more conscious of their plastic use and more concerned about their enviromental imprint.

Big Cow had images of these girls in red and white dresses with a geometrical cut skirt that alludes to the structure of rice terraces, and an actual green cow roll on to the stage – it was made of wood with actual grass planted behind the plastic mold, sprouting out from the mold for the show.

Cat asked if she gets a lot of work and how does she get funding for her work, and Fitri is actually funded by a local chapter of the Ford foundation, which has provided Creative support for the last two years. For the Plastic work, her grant did not add up to the final production budget, and she had to borrow from friends to finish.


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