Art Talk

People First, Performance Now – A Performance Piece by Claudia Cannizzaro
By Swee Chin PAN

7 PM

Claudia Cannizzaro is a trained artist turned textile conceptual artist. Her two months residency here in Malaysia at Shalini Ganendra Fine Arts @ Gallery Residence has added a new specialism to her name. She is now a writer-cum-choreographer as she created a performance piece, People First, Performance Now to celebrate the end of her residency.

Shalini Ganendra & Claudia Cannizzaro
After the preliminaries by Shalini and guest of honour, US Ambassador to Malaysia, Paul W. Jones; Claudia took to the mike and presented a slide show depicting her travels in West Malaysia. From her base in Petaling Jaya, she traveled to the Perhentian Islands, Penang, Malacca, Singapore and Kuala Kubu Baru, taking trains and buses. She definitely knows our local LRT (light rail transit) and transport systems well. Do you?

US Ambassador to Malaysia, Paul W. Jones

My two favourite photographs of hers are the packed balconies at Suria Mall, KLCC vs. the empty walkway in the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. She has indeed aptly captured the Malaysian favourite past time of going shopping in the malls.

Claudia’s 5 minute performance piece saw four pieces of sarongs in bright colours, wrapped around the performer, Dalili. As she walked to the end of the room, she removed each sarong, folded them and hung them. Each race was signified by a colour – yellow for the Malay race, red for the Chinese, blue for the Indians and white for the other races.


As this was happening, Shafiqua read this:
All of the others, unnamed, uncategorized, uncelebrated, non yet assimilated, not yet accepted.
Those who are a bit of all, and those who are none of the above.
Those who were here before, and those who will be here after.
Those that are here now, but are invisible.
Those who look like us, but belong to another flag, and those who do not look like us but this is their country, too.
Those who dream to go back home one day, and those who work so hard they have forgotten how their home looks like. 
Those who try hard to make this country their home, and those who work hard so we can be proud of our country.
Yes, you can tell Claudia is interested in politics. Aren’t we all? She even participated in our Bersih 3.0 march on 28 April 2012. 

Agnes Traerup & Melissa Groot

Claudia Valentien & Dr. Birgit Lorenz-Meyer

Milena Sarapa, Delia Prvacki, Claudia Cannizzaro & Bibi Chew

Selma Kriegner, Nicole Kurschner, Latifah Ahmad Shafie & Heather Weber

Claudia is enamored with this part of the world and she is off to explore Bangkok next. Even though her exhibition, Connections, ended at Shalini’s on 30 April 2012, Claudia intends to return next year – hopefully with an exhibition at a public museum in Kuala Lumpur. I look forward to that!


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely the current opinions of the author and should not be construed to reflect the opinions, policies or positions of any entity other than the author's.