Hanna Tuulikki’s river

Hanna Tuulikki’s installation, SOURCEMOUTH LIQUIDBODY, at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2016 involved a collaboration with Kuttiyattam dancer Kapila Venu to create a three-screen video and sound installation based on a sequence of gestures known as Nadi Varnana or ‘river description’.

I wrote this afterwards, trying to capture some sense of the way the work slips between, slips through, connects, gathers its liquidity in those hot warehouses next to the Arabian sea, where now and again a ship’s horn accompanies the work. You can catch a little flavour of it here.

River Description

Hanna delivered like silvered water,

Gestures to the estuary, spatializes time,

Moves with eyes and mouth, body as river.

From the throat’s river, sounds,

And the eyes also gesture.

Movement between the senses,

Movement between cultures,

Movement like links made of silver.

The articulation of water through the body’s grace.

Sounding the drops, droplets, stops.

Her ringed eyes render the face a mask,

though a mask moving and somehow, recognisable,

British Finnish Keralan

Nadi Varnana, Hanna,

Moving through exchanges, slipping

between identities, not stepping in

the same same


twice twice.