Sriwhana Spong’s practice is largely informed by errant modes of knowledge production, especially the ecstatic practices of women mystics. Her understanding of mysticism refers to Michel de Certeau’s reading of mystic texts as “scripts of the body,” which document the movements of the writer as she attempts to translate her bodily experience of the religious encounter into language. Sriwhana’s works, catalyzed by approaches toward another organism or object (which can range from co-habiting with a snake to her grandfather’s last painting or a 12th century Javanese epic poem), function like scripts of her own body, documenting the oscillations of distance and intimacy. By attempting to draw near, Sriwhana aims to spark journeys where different modes of knowledge production produce reorientations through films, performances, and sculptures. In so doing, she develops tools for critically examining her own situated position and aims to contribute to a collective, collaborative, and feminist understanding of the world.

During her stay in Chiusure, Sriwhana will work on a new body of work around notions of the apocalypse, particularly through the lens of Italian philosopher Ernesto de Martino. She anchors this project in the landscape of the Crete Senesi, formed by the remains of a Cenozoic seabed, and which is testimony to the end of a world. In this context, Sriwhana asks: how we can face the end of a world, can it be seen as an opportunity for renewal, and what can the particular view from her body—this partial, situated, contradictory, and complex body—offer to the collective process of writing new worlds — a task, unlike an apocalypse, with no end?

Still from Beach Study, 2012.