The project “Aesthetics of the Body: Performance, Arts and Religions in the Himalayas and South-East Asia” is an exploration of the possibilities and meanings of action: from the macroscopic gesture to the imperceptible, from the spontaneous gesture to the induced, from ritual gesture to performance, from the conscious gesture to the mechanical.
In cultural contexts usually defined as “primitive”, we can ascertain that where life is still in symbiosis with nature, gestures are pregnant with a whole set of highly symbolic, mythical and emotive values which, although belonging mainly to the ritual sphere, form an essential part of daily life and pervade every aspect of reality.
The project - carried out in Nepal, Pakistan and Laos from 2005 to 2008 - aimed at creating an aesthetic path leading from a study of the use of the body and of body representation in traditional and contemporary Asian ritual arts to my artistic practice. This path involves theoretical research in cultural studies and visual and performance art, and extensive fieldwork in Nepal, Laos and Pakistan.
The book Ritual Art of the Kingdom of Mithila: Traditional Paintings from Janakpur Women has been published in 2008 in Kathmandu by Vajra Publications. The essay Chintamani: il gioiello degli dei has been published in the volume: Macioce, S. (ed.) (2007) "Ori nell'Arte". Roma: Logart Press. I have then realised the artist's books Winter Monsoon and Face to Face with a Beheaded Goat and the artworks: Play for Gods and Raining Buddhas, in 2009.
The research was carried out in the framework of the activities of the Ev-K2 Committee and was funded by the Italian National Council of Research (CNR) and the Ministery for Foreign Affairs.