KAWITA Vatanajyankur

KNIT

Live performance (50 minutes)

Edited Video Version (30 minutes)

 

 

 30 Minutes / STUDIO / VIDEO VERSION

 

One of the Bangkok Biennale’s final acts is the performance artist Kawita Vatanajyankur’s “Knit,” a critique on how women are exploited in the work force. She weaves her body in and out of a loom of red yarn around 12 white poles in an oval shape, becoming knotted and contorted. This performance is not being performed in a museum or abandoned warehouse but in the soaring lobby of the posh Peninsula Hotel during afternoon tea — a new spin on how Bangkok’s engine of tourism and its women converge again.

(The New York Times on Bangkok's First Biennale: Politics, Temples and Sex)

 

My aim is to portray humans as machines and show how our feelings inevitably come out, whether we want them to or not. During the Peninsula Hotel performance, I was weaving fabric around my entire body. My feet, my hands, my muscles, even my teeth, had to work until I was done. Once you are a machine you start becoming very invested in the work.

Half an hour in, I started feeling tired and exhausted. After 40 minutes, I started to get dizzy and my head ached, but I still had to work. After 45 minutes, I felt trapped as the fabric was also around my head, but my hands and feet could still work. At one point, I couldn’t control them any longer. I started having vertigo, but kept going until I’d finished. Everybody saw how I felt. In the end, I collapsed, but the fabric was finished. 
 
(Interview with Naima Morelli / Cobo Social)