Performance in Installation
Galerie Weisser Elefant, Berlin
Buzzard wings, wood bed, four sacks of hay, fur, stone probably fragment from concrete pillar from the „Mauer“ Berlin, jute cordes, branches, zinc bathtub, olive oil, 3 coyote stones (smoky quartz/citrine), linen nightdress, 3 x 5 liter bottles of olive oil, recycled felt blanket, edited photo of Joseph Beuys on copy paper, quote from an afterlife contact with Joseph Beuys on his 100th birthday (May 12, 2021) with Ingrid Müller-Farny as medium via Zoom on copy paper, desk, swivel chair, lamp, bowl with sticky notes and a quote from a contact with Joseph Beuys (May 17, 2021) through embodiment by the actor Laurean Wagner, Eau de Cologne 411, recycled felt swab, nest, parts of a bird's nest with wax mounted on a broken branch, wire, jute chord, roots, moss.
Veronika Dräxler booked a Zoom-Séance with medium Ingrid Müller-Farny to contact Joseph Beuys in the realm of spirits on the 12th of May 2021: On this date, Beuys would have turned 100. The information gathered in this session influenced the curation of objects installed at the gallery. The artist sourced most of them from the estate of her grandparents. As a result, these objects become symbolic bearers of the experience of the German (post-)war generation. In addition, she mixes in found material from the area around the Mauerweg behind her studio in Frohnau, which was once a mental hospital.
The artist performed Medea by herself in the environment installed at the gallery. It was filmed by Elma Riza. Medea refers to Beuys' work Iason, where he used a zinc bathtub for a sculptural composition. Veronika moves the female figure from the myth "the Golden Fleece" into the foreground, showing a woman who cures herself with seven rituals from mental trauma. The signature materials of Joseph Beuys fat and felt are updated into olive oil and recycling felt.
Medea is the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, a niece of Circe and the granddaughter of the sun god Helios. She aids Jason in his search for the Golden Fleece out of love, assisting him with her magic and saving his life in several quests, playing the role of an archetypal helper-maiden. Euripides' 5th century BC tragedy Medea depicts the ending of said union with Jason. After ten years of marriage, Jason abandons her to wed king Creon's daughter Creusa while Medea and her sons by Jason are to be banished. In revenge, she murders Creusa and the king with poisoned gifts and later murders her sons she had with Jason before fleeing for Athens, where she eventually marries King Aegeus. Other traditions mention several different causes of death for Medea's sons.
"You have to know that there are three calcifications: two of the body and one of the mind. At the beginning of the work, the first is a deprivation of cold dampness (the lunar body). In the second, the earthiness (as lime) is removed (the solar body). The third is nothing more than pulling the quintessence out of the elementary niche (the four flowers in the retort)."
After the water ritual, Medea rests in a hay bed. The smell calms, stimulates the metabolism and increases the immune system. Thus, she regains inner balance for the next steps of the empowerment ritual.
The raccoon mask is a reminder of the power of shape-shifting, that it is possible to change who and what we are to who and what we want to be. After Medea has rested in the hay bed, she walks to the doorknob, where the raccoon felt hangs. Does she still need it?Becoming aware of our masks, even if we made them ourselves to feel stronger, is the beginning of reconnecting to our power. Eventually, the mask is not needed anymore because she noticed that she had everything she needed all the time inside herself - just buried in self-doubts.
Do you have a mask that isn't needed anymore?
Medea gets aware of the heavy baggage she has been dragging around for a long time. This weight makes her defensive, and she is prone to harm aggressors with it. The rock of the baggage was once part of a wall. She decides that she doesn't need it anymore and gets rid of it.
Medea left her heavy emotional baggage behind, the one that also made her defensive. As a consequence, she has no weapon to harm an aggressor anymore. So she decides to be vulnerable. But she lives in a cruel world, and sometimes the best tool to protect herself is a protective cloak. So she grabs it. Then she uses the felt like Joseph Beuys once did in his "I like America and America likes Me" performance. The coyote tries to destroy the felt that Beuys wrapped himself in. Medea has no aggressors left in her room anymore, but she needs the cloak for other purposes: for staying warm, as a swab for eau the cologne 4711, or to dry herself from olive oil in the following rituals to close a full healing ritual circle.
Famous intellectuals like Voltaire or Goethe stored tissues infused with "Echt KölnischWasser 4711 "close to their desks and inhaled the fragrance to enhance inspiration. Medea pours 4711 into a bowl and dunks a little felt ball into the perfume; then, she inhales very deep. Finally, Medea reaches an out-of-body experience and is in her full spiritual potential.When she comes down, she decides that all that has been causing her mental disturbance and physical pain can be self-exorcized.
Medea prepares an olive oil bath infused with citrines. These quartzes also have the name: "Kojotesteine "(Coyote Stones). Their healing property helps with any inflammation of the stomach and heightens the solar plexus's function to balance out stress. Then she steps into the tub. The olive oil covers her feet like balsam. She resembles a corpse mummified in fat; the zinc tin becomes a coffin. Medea rests for 15 min. The oil is cold and cools her organism and blood circulation down.
What do you see in this citrine infused olive oil Rorschach test? Which demon is hunting Medea?
Her arms move up and down, hypnotically pouring cold olive oil. She is in a space between life and death. Suddenly she gets up, knees down and starts to wash her hair with the citrine infused olive oil. And then the demon leaves her body through the hair. She faces him and is no longer afraid. She frees herself from the oppressor, slips out of the linen dress and is renewed and empowered - more robust than ever.