Performance by TANSSAH
21/06/18 - 01/07/18
For our second exhibition, OUTPUT gallery is showing work by Liverpool-based artist TANNSAH (b. 96, Burton-on- Trent). TANNSAH’s practice explores the emotional and psychological consequences of forced marriage, domestic abuse and cultural enforcement. The artist works in performance, spoken word, as well as sound and dance. For TANNSAH, spoken word is the release of ‘the suppressed emotions of victims’ to whom she relates. When it comes to the meaning of things she does and makes, she encourages conversation and for that reason has answered the questions listed below to help the viewer engage with her practice and the activities in this specific exhibition.

On June 28th, the artist will return to the gallery for a performance using two of her sound pieces ‘Dhancha’ and ‘Hasad’.
Installation view
Why has the artist build a shed in the gallery and why is it made of broken wood?

The shed is a representation of how the victims of abuse rebuild life out of broken pieces. This has turned out to be part of an ongoing project in which Sikander has been deconstructing the shed and reconstructing it. In the first performance, held at LJMU, the artist smashed the shed with a sledgehammer following the rage of built-up energy from previous performances and unfortunate events. At OUTPUT gallery, Sikander will reconstruct the shed out of the broken pieces as a symbolic demonstration of how difficult it can be to build a shed (or life) out of broken pieces, but how it is still achievable. She wants to reach out and reinforce these messages through performances to motivate the many people who are struggling with or have been victims of similar events. The choice to use a shed is because her last performance entailed the narration of her own personal flashbacks of being locked in a shed for over two weeks before fleeing home. The spoken word elements of her work have all been leading up to something, something that was unclear to identify through words. She gave this ‘something’ a form – the form of a shed.

How does the artist's identity come into the sound pieces?

Her performances use musical elements or rooted sounds. These are associated with raag, which are used in Indian Classical genres, or some may also link them to Arabic folk music. It is considered a means to evoke certain feelings in an audience. Her work illustrates this through both the rooted sounds and spoken-word. This brings cultural elements into this performance without creating direct links to a singular culture - just an expression of feeling immense remorse.

In her performance how does the artist use movemment to explore issues of forced marriage and domestic abuse?

The artist uses three elements in her performances: spoken word, sound and dance. Through this, Sikander disassociates from the performance and finds themselves feeling every part of their body through the energy in the room. The dance is not classified within any specific dance movement, however the performer was inspired by Indian Bharatnatyam. It is the improvised gestural movement made because of the immense build-up of energy from the performance itself. Dhancha & Hasad are a combination of two individual sound pieces made by the artist that will be combined together for the purpose of the show in order to illustrate two parts of her ongoing life story of unfortunate incidents. Dhancha (We Are Bones) is about feeling suppressed and not being able to stand up for your human rights. It deals with a domestic abuse victim who sarcastically states that they are nothing more than skin and bones. This is to express the suppression of abuse that the victim has suffered. Hasad is a take on the experiences she faced while being trapped in a shed and her story of fleeing home through a hidden vail of spoken jumble, using her own account of vivid and unclear memories. While it doesn’t talk about specific cultural issues such as forced marriage, it deals with its outcomes, which are domestic and psychological abuse.
Installation view