Kelvin Atmadibrata

Royal College of Art, London


ForcingĀ  Hyacinth

performance, 2-6 hours, or more


One foot partially submerged in cold water, tip-toeing on top of a mountain of opaque pervenche-hued glass plant toppers within a familiar glass vase. His other foot on the ground, struggling to keep his fulcrum upright. Durational piece utilizes perseverance and stamina, despite so, he is also an infant or an adolescent facing sexual awakening. He blows into a clear straw, resulting in hyacinth-shaped bubbles accumulating throughout the performance, leaving a residue of an energetic action performed repeatedly. The body is passive, almost like a living sculpture, move very subtly and staring blankly yet intensely like a Renaissance statue. His posture is unhurried and involved pauses, in the attempt to create dynamic images of the masculine. His presence is almost suggesting birth. Yet accompanying him is an identical bottle lying idly on the floor, its cap is barely hanging and a paper collage sipping through its torn side. Like a bleeding head frozen in time, both elements silently weave a narrative that hints towards the Greek mythology of the hyacinth flower. Forcing Hyacinth also borrows the narrative of the botany process of forcing hyacinth bulbs to flower. Hence within social context, it is a commentary towards the pressure and anxiety, self-inflicted or otherwise, of growing up.