Among the Bugis of South Sulawesi, four genders are acknowledged: male, female, feminine male, masculine female – and bissu , a shaman identity beyond gender. The bissu are often homosexual and transsexual, and their freedom from conventional gender roles is part of a search for a transcendental state free from all human constraints.
The artist developed Alé Lino by researching the bissu , whose spiritual path out of gender provides its conceptual basis. In her performance, she stands on a plinth for three hours, with a pole pointing at her upper body. These bjects enable her to reach the desired state of transcendence.
Melati Suryodarmo is known for her long and highly physical performances using the body and its environment to create what she calls “a concentrated level of intensity.”
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