Bastiaan Arler - My Name is Gilgamesh

My Name is Gilgamesh
Performance and video (16 min.)

An interest for the epic hero and the American superhero, led me to study the these similar phenomena. After a while a project developed for an experiential performance where the epic of King Gilgamesh, of Babylonian times, is intimately entwined with my own life. I borrowed the persona of Gilgamesh to partake on a modern day epic journey, in search of a passage into a mythological dimension. In this six day performance I took a flight from Milan to New York, the only mythical city left today, and doing so entered my mythological realm. Once there, I also experienced the mythological dimension from a psychological point of view. By sustaining a trial of sleep deprivation and fatigue, I altered my behaviour and emotional balance, leading to sporadic delusional episodes and a distortion of my perception of the real world.
In 18 months of preparatory studies, planning and work, the epic of Gilgamesh had overlapped my life completely. Over this period of time, as happens with longer projects, everything seemed to magically converge on it and it became an entity in itself.

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Location: O' Artoteca, Milano and Socrates Sculpture Park, New York / Curated by Sara Serighelli / Sponsored by Consulate of the Netherlands, Heineken / Photo by Luca Tamburini