Interview: Monali Meher

Monali MeherMonali Meher, Paesaggio III, Casa Masaccio Museum, San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy, 2012

Interview: Monali Meher

Monali Meher talks with Luca Curci about her concept of art and her experience in Venice International experimental cinema and performance art.

Since 1998 Meher’s art practice involves various disciplines, the most significant is performance art. Monali Meher graduated in Fine Arts from Sir J. J. School of arts, Mumbai. She performed and exhibited her work internationally at Tate modern, Sinop Biennale Turkey, Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Khoj Live New Delhi, DaDao Beijing, Art Dubai and she received the prestigious “Golden Chimera Award” for the innovation and originality.

Monali MeherMonali Meher, I passi, Casa Masaccio Museum, San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy, 2012

Luca Curci – Your performance has just been realized during Venice Experimental Cinema and Performance Art Festival: can you talk about your personal experience in Venice with International ArtExpo?

Monali Meher – It was enriching to meet artists from different places and see their performances and films. My personal experience with performance festivals in different places has been positive. This gives opportunity to meet new artists and opens up doors for working together in future, forming collaboration between artists’ initiatives and art organizations. On that point International ArtExpo with its theme FUTURE IDENTITIES worked successfully.

Monali MeherMonali Meher, Auspiciously Red, Arezzo, 2013

L. C. – Can you talk about the performance you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?

M. M. – In my performance “Terra”, I extend the idea of “moving” from place to place (change, transformation) and process of “cleansing”, a house to my body. By placing my head on the heap of soil and creating sounds (U, O, A, E, M) related to certain body parts by placing my hands on them that resonate, both within my internal body and amplify through the acoustic of the historical space. The body is used as a musical instrument, where the combinations of notes and echoes continuously reverberate transforming our notion of space and time. I keep moving the heap of soil (Terra) from place to place, forming small heaps, tracing my movements in this historical architecture, emphasizing its walls, pillars, floor and ceiling by placing my body and reaching every corner with my voice. My body becomes vehicle and extension for carrying the soil, gets connected to space while moving again. This whole thought of moving, connecting, carrying, leaving and transforming in today’s/ present time significantly stresses upon the idea of the festival FUTURE IDENTITIES. The time demands to create such individuals for the future.

Monali MeherMonali Meher, Hunt Love, Amsterdam, 2013

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

M. M. – Currently I am preparing for the new performance titled Balance 2’, for Actus III at the academy of fine arts J-J. Gailliard, Saint-Gilles, Brussels in October 2014. In November 2014 for the group show, ‘Sparsha’, at Kunstmuseum Bochum, Germany, there I am working on installation and performance with art academy students.

L. C. – What is art for you?

M. M. – “Art” is the language, the body, an expression, emotion, sound, pain, struggle, growth, change, statement, something which stays with you in your memory and/or changes it’s form over a period of time.

Monali MeherMonali Meher, La porta trasparente, Casa Masaccio Museum, San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy, 2012

L. C. – Do you think International ArtExpo organization can represent an opportunity for artists?

M. M. – Yes for sure! It’s a great platform to create, meet, manifest and reunite again.

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