Birdprayers is a multi site, multidisciplinary project that combines performance, exhibitions and talks by artists Sara Nuytemans (The Netherlands) and Arya Pandjalu (Indonesia). It is a creative response to the weighty and seemingly impossible to resolve issue of religious conflict in the world. By representing four major world religions, Judaism, Catholicism, Hinduism and Islam the artists react and challenge competing (and at times inter) religious hegemonies locked in a never ending debate of often bloody and polemical drama.
All in the Mind is the title of the (main) performance strand of the project. Four protagonists, in neutral costumes, wear models of each of the main houses of worship on top of their heads: a church, synagogue, mosque and Hindu temple. They walk through their surroundings and or position themselves as a living monuments for passerby’s to be confused, amused and challenged. The performances, of which there have been 5 to date have taken place in the rice fields of Bali, a bird market in Jogyakarta, a pond near the parliament buildings in The Hague, the New Mosque in Istanbul, as well as in front of the Colleseum in Rome. Specifically chosen for their visual and symbolic impact Birdprayers utilises these striking backdrops to heighten the power of performance as a mode of communication. As such, the project confronts the physical and psychological walls built by conservative notions surrounding the external ritualisation of mass religion and culture rather then more personal spiritual responses to these faiths.