அசரீரி (A Being Without Body)

According to Ramanujan (1973: 19–22), the temple represents the human body and therefore it fuses the distinction between divine and human bodies. This union is sought through bhakti; a divine unity that engages devotee and deity. However, the deity and devotee still maintain their own identities.

In the temple, human body and the temple as a body exist to reaffirms the relationship of the macro-micro. With temple as a body, it exists at macro level in a spiritual dimension, and whereas for a human body, it exists at micro level yearning to be unified with the divine. These sort of realities challenges the complexities of human body and it’s existence in today’s context (new order) which I intend to explore in my performance works.

In a temple ritual, it has two aspects – one is to construct the body and second is to deconstruct the body in a single consciousness. That is, during the ritual process, the body disintegrate itself to be embodied with the divine. It is between these two realities (a process of disintegration and embodiment) that we are ‘caged’ to form union with the divine. In other words, rituals are created caged human in a physical space through divine form. As A.K. Ramanujan asserts, “Ritual, superstition, sacred space and sacred time, pilgrimage and temple going, offerings to god and priest, prayers and promises— all forms of ‘making’ and ‘doing’— all of them are performed to get results, to manipulate and manage carefully the Lord’s universe to serve one’s own purposes, to save one’s soul or one’s skin” (1973: 30).

In the performance, I will be exploring how ‘marking’ serves as one’s own purpose to serve as a modern tool to construct and deconstruct our body in a single consciousness. And how the process of making emphasize the agency of the body as “a being without body”.