Amri­ta Hepi
Mon­u­men­tal

20th February – 24th April 2022
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts

Pre­sent­ed in Perth for the first time, Mon­u­men­tal, a video instal­la­tion that begins and ends with the image of the sun ris­ing – or set­ting – over the ocean, appeals to the grand sen­sa­tion of the sun set­ting over the ocean in local imag­i­na­tion and the new day that ris­es in its place, imbued with the faint hope of pos­si­bil­i­ty and renew­al. Sev­en dancers, Hepi among them, sur­round the foot of a plinth occu­pied by a cen­tral mon­u­ment to a loom­ing colo­nial fig­ure. Bathed in orange light, the dancers ser­e­nade and then pro­ceed to top­ple and destroy the mon­u­ment before col­lec­tive­ly mount­ing the emp­ty plinth, build­ing a new mon­u­ment with their bodies.

Mon­u­men­tal cross­cuts between these scenes of dancers and excerpts of archival footage, includ­ing glimpses of cel­e­brat­ed pre­ci­sion dancers the Rock­ettes per­form­ing The Parade of Wood­en Sol­diers’ and chore­o­graphed tow­er for­ma­tions of dancers’ bod­ies at the 1980 Moscow Olympics open­ing cer­e­mo­ny to more recent tele­vised news sto­ries cov­er­ing the Black Lives Mat­ter (BLM) move­ment and dis­man­tling of pub­lic mon­u­ments around the world. In the wake of BLM protests and renewed calls for the removal of inher­it­ed mon­u­ments that sym­bol­ise the impact of colo­nial­ism and its ongo­ing lega­cies, Mon­u­men­tal offers a charged med­i­ta­tion on the tra­di­tion of build­ing mon­u­ments, ques­tion­ing who and what gets memo­ri­alised. The ques­tion remains: How can future mon­u­men­tal­i­sa­tion be imag­ined? Hepi’s new mon­u­ment, built of many bod­ies and promis­es of vis­i­bil­i­ty, knowl­edge, and redress, is at once the artic­u­la­tion of such a ques­tion and a pro­vi­sion­al answer.

Images

Amri­ta Hepi

Mon­u­men­tal, 2021
instal­la­tion; video, sculp­ture, performance
Instal­la­tion view, Perth Insti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Arts (PICA), 2022
Pho­to­graph: Bo Wong

Amri­ta Hepi

Mon­u­men­tal, 2021
instal­la­tion; video, sculp­ture, performance
Instal­la­tion view, Perth Insti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Arts (PICA), 2022
Pho­to­graph: Bo Wong

Amri­ta Hepi

Mon­u­men­tal, 2021
instal­la­tion; video, sculp­ture, performance
Instal­la­tion view, Perth Insti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Arts (PICA), 2022
Pho­to­graph: Bo Wong

Amri­ta Hepi

Mon­u­men­tal, 2021
instal­la­tion; video, sculp­ture, performance
Instal­la­tion view, Perth Insti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Arts (PICA), 2022
Pho­to­graph: Bo Wong

Amri­ta Hepi

Mon­u­men­tal, 2021
instal­la­tion; video, sculp­ture, performance
Instal­la­tion view, Perth Insti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Arts (PICA), 2022
Pho­to­graph: Bo Wong

Amri­ta Hepi

Mon­u­men­tal, 2021
instal­la­tion; video, sculp­ture, performance
Instal­la­tion view, Perth Insti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Arts (PICA), 2022
Pho­to­graph: Bo Wong