Area Clearance | Time-lapse of installation artwork by Nicola Anthony, Myanmar, 2018
A look-back to a site specific installation in Yangon, 2018:
This video is about Area Clearance - an installation artwork made in 2018 by British artist Nicola Anthony, paired with a poem of the same name by Marc Nair. The artwork and poem tackle the subject of genocide of the Rohingya tribe in Myanmar, featuring burned paper, prayer leaves, ash and coal to make an archway which visitors can step into. Showcased at Myanm/art Gallery, Yangon, in collaboration with Intersections Gallery Singapore.
About Area Clearance
Area Clearance is an art installation made of found objects and materials gathered in the market streets of Yangon, during a time of great unrest in other regions of Myanmar where the artists were not able to visit. The genocide of the Rohingya tribe continues in the western coastal state of Rakhine, with a strict press ban and spread of disinformation.
Suspended charcoal wood and bunches of leaves hang alongside charred paper. Each item is like a fragment which has dislocated or exploded off of the original whole. Hovering delicately together they form a loose shape and a cloud of acute shadows. The dome-like form has a body-sized empty central space which invites you to peer within, and could be the outline of a traditional doorway in a Buddhist temple or a Muslim mosque.
This artwork takes a format similar to Nicola’s previous sculptures made of paper which has been burned and perfumed with incense sticks. This piece has a much darker, more violent and charred appearance which was informed both by the subject matter and a poem by Marc Nair. Over the course of the exhibition the prayer leaves dried and faded.
The artwork is paired with a poem from which it takes its name, Area Clearance by Marc Nair. The poem brings the viewer powerfully into the horror of the moment when a village gets torn apart, people attacked, killed and raped, and the buildings burned to the ground.