In Deep Body Massage, professional masseur Jo Lee gives Marianna Maruyama a massage while reading aloud a text she wrote about language and its movement through the body. In this work Maruyama borrows the voice of a physical therapist to speak her words, while acknowledging her own body as a speaker in itself, communicating through pressure, resistance, and transformation. Rather than opening her mouth to speak, other parts of her body – the musculature and organs – respond in various ways to the pressure Lee gives. Because the success of the treatment depends on reciprocity, body workers are especially attuned to the sounds of the body and their meanings: the growl of the stomach, the wide yawn, and the deep exhalation or sharp intake of air.
Marianna Maruyama uses the body and voice as primary agents in her performance-based practice. Her work uses only a few elements – bodies and texts, mostly – but they engage a complex web of relations across geographies, histories, and languages. In her performances, publications, and audio recordings, Maruyama attends to the ‘before and after’ moments of an event, extending the life of the creative encounters that inform her practice. One of her primary interests is translation as an artistic method. Works include: 600 Notes; Deep Body Massage; How Language Moves; Il Milione; and the workshops How to Lose Your Voice. In 2013, she published Three Movements, an artist’s book dealing with the negotiation of a globally shared life after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. Following an extensive working period in Japan, Maruyama moved to the Netherlands in 2012 and obtained her MA degree from the Dutch Art Institute (DAI). She is an artist-researcher at the invitation of the Sedje Hémon Foundation and teaches at the DAI. Based in The Hague, she performs in both contemporary art and music contexts.