I’ve attended last night performance by Intan Rafiza $$candal- makan duit for Crossover/ Lintasan exhibition at Lost Gen that was curated by Sandra Krich. Crossover/Lintasan an exhibition showcase selected artworks by Goncolo Faro and Elias Yamani Ismail at Lost Gen Space, KL.
Intan’s performance in my view has add in another spice that binding the audience with the context of this country responding on current issues of Malaysia economy& money scandal . It was a nice touch of the exhibition where the idea from the curator was to add in another layer of the exhibition and to explore another medium of arts by inviting Intan to perform responding on the exhibition and also to invite fellow artist and audience to be involve on the concept of crossover by open the floor for people to do a live sketch during Intan’s performance.
I love how the artist start off her performance, requesting the audience to place in part of their belongings in a glass of water that she walk and carries before she starts. It can be seen as her personal touch of ‘ritual’ before performance and indirectly have make the audience as part of the performance.
She starts of by writing text on her body ‘this is now’ on her throat and continues the word “scandal” on her upper chest. She rang a bell few times which reminded me like a sound of alarm and position herself on a piece of paper . Using red ribbon, Intan tries to tied some part of the money above her head. Elegantly, she arranged money around her and starts to insert some part the money inside her mouth. With money inside her mouth, she place herself on pedestal slowly standing above it and requesting audience to also respond on the piece of paper below.
I watched while recording her performance hoping that she wont vomit, as i felt the level of stress and pressure when she insert one by one money inside her mouth.
Makan Duit is a malay proverb which represent money corruption. The artist used money as the main subject, commenting on the current context of issues involve this country controversial money scandal involving high profile politicians as reported widely in news.
Besides the current money scandal, like any citizen of this country, as an artist her performance reflect the tension rise of living costs, impact of the implementation of GST in this country. Red always reminds me of anger . The red lipstick that she wore can also relates to the concept of human desire . Red can also represent of people struggle. The beauty of her performance lies on how we want to interpreted it based on her concept either in the context of larger political & ecomomy issues of this country is facing or our own personal context of interpretations. Arts is to open a discourse and for us to be critical of our surroundings. I respect her bravery as a women artist in this country that used her body as a medium of expression and to use it to comment on current issue.
Intan’s performance was not only an alert on our country economy and politic current states but can also resemble on how human life is bound by money. The gesture of placing money around her to me shows how our daily routine has tied us like a red ribbon around her neck… suffocating. It makes me question, is our system that we live is design to tie us up on the string, bound in vicious cycle… to be static, monotonous and arrange and to be control?
As the artist place money inside her mouth and at the same time i felt tense of her act, i questions where does this life leading us if its just about money? True, we need money to live and now with rise of living costs there will be higher demands to meet our needs and desire. In today’s world clearly majority will agree that we need money to live… but do we live for money or we need money to live. When life is just about money…there is also a struggle of power& controls on the desire to gain human personal wealth, which can always lead to greed. It leave us with a question…if we live only about money to what extend we desire it? Because to me … life is not just about wealth.