documentation of spiritual performance: feat myself ingesting wine and "Eucharist Europe bread", in congregation with my ceramics.
Title The slippery words of Europe's Daughter.
The work grew out of the construct of Europe in relation to Greek history, looking to neoclassical man, and the construction of Europe around white male ideologies, inspired by Rosi Bradotti's Posthuman texts, (amongst others).
I decided to use a ceremony of Eucharist, the bread and the wine, looking to Protestant and Catholic rituals ties to a traditional European history and as a counterweight to comment on the sickening Islamophobia that is sweeping across Europe. Further reflecting on my visit this year to the Acropolis Museum, in Athens and its aesthetics. The work interweaves ritual, religion and museum context, combined with a literal digestion of history. Placing it through my own body, ingesting the substances. And the performance as a whole was centered around making something that was all at once ancient, contemporary and futuristic, to reflect and speculate political malaise.
Whilst working with these ideas Brexit arrived. The work then transformed into a response to a potential of departing from the EU and the sickening racist political campaigns of the UK in favor of leaving. I was riled up and didn't understanding how it could even be suggested in the first place, further problematised by the difficulties of experience it from afar living in the Netherlands. Moreover looking into the idea of "The European Family", a bond, treaty of peace and collective understanding post WWII war-struck-zones and into a collective identity of peace.
The ceramic objects I created embody beauty and are seductive artifacts. They feature two women's heads alongside of a reversed imprint containing a map of Europe that was used to bake bread in. The women's heads were used for wine and urine. I intended to use the heads as ventriloquist vessels to debate with. They could be read as timeless objects, speaking to the past, present and future. The glaze on the ceramics is unified in color and style, drippy, hi-gloss but also has a fungal or moldy quality to it that gives both continuity and randomness. The glaze is modeled around the color palette of the EU flag.
The ceramics are tools; the heads used as a toilet, goblet, the tray to press dough into. They are vessels of circulations that aim to debate our relationship into politics and geopolitics, taking and receiving. Within the performance there is also the use of olive oil, wine and coins that represent circulations, trading goods from the EU, currency. Looking into individual and collective relationships. Countries figuring out what they are getting and giving and what human ethics are at stake within each transaction.
For the performance to camera I utilized the ceramics. With my own skin painted the same style as the ceramic glaze. I embodied the objects, mimicked their form. Breaking borders, breaking bread with my bare hands like a puppeteer-power-lord. A deliberately naive childish approach.
I wanted to make something that was timeless in a sense but would be inspired from this specific temporality of now. On the impact of the UK leaving the EU and the multi-faceted negative effects it will have on human rights. It feels as though history is repeating itself in the most dangerous way. The terrifying rise of the far right and fascist, racist beliefs that co-inside with this. The steering of the lower and lower-middle classes in the UK, to claim some kind of national identity, that promises nothing but hatred. The sickening propaganda machines that fuel such xenophobic campaigns. So much shame!
I was by no means hoping to bring all this content to the table but felt as though I had to do something, and perhaps physically placing a material that represented Europe through my body to the point of sickness and drinking what represented "blood" to until drunk would get some of these thoughts materialised and open up charged discussion.