selina bonelli

A Tiding with Kelvin Atmadibrata between Ivalice and St Eanswythe

This text is a response to A Knight No More, Kelvin Atmadibrata’s performance at TIDING (April 2022).

TIDING was a day of performance hosted by ]ps[ at two historic sites of worship in Folkestone and Romney Marsh. ]ps[ invited three writers - Madinah Farhannah Thompson, selina bonelli and Sara Sassanelli - to respond to the six works presented at TIDING.

︎︎︎ about TIDING

Kelvin Atmadibrata photographed by Manuel Vason.

Aporisms of un (be)longing tug on the rope on the pew.

Scissors in hand:

open, closed, pointed
with legs uncrossed

you cut a whole in your knees:
a patellar viewing platform

capped to your joint,
on the edge of the scream: does it balance the care that your hands can’t contain?

You look through shins that hold the marks left from praying too hard for the rain to stop:

the blow of silence, no. one. notices.

“Ivalice is the region consisting of the three continents of Valendia, Ordalia, and Kerwon, with verdant natural landscapes and climatic conditions supporting a great variety of life. Regional climate trends are thought to be determined largely by the density of Mist present in the air, though this correlation is as yet not well understood. Many humanoids call Ivalice home, each belonging to a distinct cultural sphere. By far, most prevalent of these are the humes, and it is around the civilization that affairs throughout the rest of the world revolve.” ª

In this space, mist has been condensed into holy water.
Crucifixed gestures are reproduced through crossed actions, bowed foreheads and mute lips. But your hands stop vertically, revealing the blade - of grass.
What level of violence is exchanged between bodies in reverence and bodies in battle?

open flapping wings, skinned feathers,
you look into the pew of stares:
toe tipped, turned into the dark hard wood - your accelerated fixed glare gains distance.

The scissors are placed now between your legs with your hand on your thigh - how do we see you - a warrior unsheathed or one within the vulnerability of faith?

pressed, bare skinned, open mouthed, knees slide along the front of the pew. they balance on the ridged pressure of being on edge,
until, your knees slide apart, together.

you place the grass blade as far as a sound and inhale the silenced folds and sharp edges: a forced s/mother exhales, a wheeze inhales:
this tidal compression is still soundless.

A disassociated sound comes from the phone you placed on the pew: gaming echoes of algorithmic battles fill the space between your actions and our expectant held breath.
These slowed speed groans, and high pitched shrills fill the walls with wailing and I wonder if this strange keening can be heard from the gravestones.

Triggers murmur suggestions of a prehistoric birds warning that there is no frolicking before the imminence of battle.

Your guard is on edge - we can’t see you kneeling.

Your guard is on edge - we can’t feel your quivering throat between your static chords.

Your mask is undone.

Your body is a vibration of what we see: a knight no more.

It contorts to the motion of glitches and screens in this algorithm that has superseded our libinial urges.

as the still tipped blade (breaks) bends, hangs, close eyed,
your breath struggles against the greener sharp edge of lime whose opacity interweaves between your low head and bent back:

a failed battle-horn emerges.

Is it here where pterodactyls hover - exhaling their pierced notes before the flight emerging within your trembling knees?
Again I hear the the sound of creaking wood on tibial planes as you shuffle across the pew.

Reins, reigns,

of prehistoric feuds are held in the silence of interosseous cuts (you’re still knee- sliding).

with the deaf screams of a bellowing trumpet, your struggle

and as the blade passes your nose, you shift along the widest length of the dark wood.

as you press it,
between your thumbs,

it shifts into a vertical voiceless flute.

cheek blown - sucked in from trapped air, your head points towards the roofed sky. strained eyes within your crumpled lids ask sightless visions to bear witness.

this silence shouts its thankless alerts.

You are over half way now

past the rope,

Your right leg lifts tapping on the floor:

this dance, this dance, who is it for?

We are silent with your voiceless shout and keyless sound: tap. tap. tap.

Joy sticks echo clicking prayer beads- this gaming takes us into the dark woodlands before the cut pews were made into sitting memorials.
What was it like when they were still formless, unaware of the loss yet to come?

The blade travels with you,

and the blade becomes


a disarticulated object pulled apart from speech.
There is no battle cry other than the breath with no vibration.
Your action exposes the “...bared noise, groan, bits torn from words. Since she hesitates to measure the accuracy, she resorts to mimicking gestures with the mouth. The entire lower lip would lift upwards then sink back to its original place. She would then gather both lips and protrude them in a pout taking in the breath that might utter some thing. (One thing. Just one.) But the breath falls away. With a slight tilting of her head backwards, she would gather the strength in her shoulders and reman in this position.” º

I hear your breath
but your tongue is

still pressed into double fists:

the blade sticks,
forward faced you reposition the hollow for a better silent note.

Creaking on one knee
ligaments, this tension cannot be pixellated.
The patella is spared in this struggle not to be heard.

The slow down cannot follow the spell of attack: just like the disconnect between thunder and lightning, the traces of the space widen between your silent larynx and the echoes bouncing off the stone walls of this sombre decorum.

There is no jungle here,
all is dead but the recording

and as you sit,
the marks on your pressed skin and wiped eyes sigh into the corner of the pew.

Punished bruises silence the space between your lips and our gaze.

just under the cold fold of flesh on tibial crests and straight
_____________________________________________ ª

º Theresa Hak Kyung Cha from Dictee