2023

Materia Prima

Expo: 

Valletta Contemporary    Rituals of Passage     Malta

 

The falling of sand is the trail we leave behind. It starts running the moment we are born, but ... all that matters is ‘the now’. The moment in which the sand is falling. The trail itself will be washed away, blown away,... It is made by memories, happenings, moments, crossroads, and decisions that are made or not made. They all lead to who we are but do not define us. What is ahead of us, we don't know. It's about the act, to keep on walking. We are facing the moment itself.  And when the sand stops we become the all-comprehensive moment. 

 

For this project, I designed a character, Ula Pupaya. She is the embodiment as well as the protector of life (ka/qui), and of time. In her mythology, she was born from ancient waters. She later chose to be reborn in human form in order to experience the concept of life as we do. But as life itself, she was curious and eager to learn. Soon she began to transcend time and space to become one again with a greater understanding of herself. Across different time zones, she sometimes emerges in flesh and blood to live among humans for a while.

 

The installation that is created is an ode to Ula through artifacts: A collection of objects and a ceremony/ritual. It is important to clarify that Ula is detached from religion. She is merely a symbol to signify the essence of life. It is not Ula who is featured in this performance, but it will be a ritual dedicated to her essence.  The performance will be an appropriation of a time-transcending ritual, performed in ancient times to get closer to your own qui and to understand time and space as one moment inside you. Those who succeed in this, would come into alignment with the ancient vital life energy and thus with all that lived, is living and will live.


Curated by: Ann Laenen & Stefan Kolgen

In Limine

Expo: 

Antwerp Art      Vanishing past      Archipel, slachthuissite

Purification Ritual: Slaughterhouse - 4 days. Daily at 14h.

 

What: For 4 days, we memorialize the animals that died at the Slaughterhouse site. We are doing this through a rite of passage in which respect, gratitude, and above all recognition are given to the animals that gave their lives. Through this death ritual, we purify and dissolve the souls that died on this site. Afterward, they can continue on their way. The connections to the site will be cut. After this energetic cleansing, we can start new beginnings without disruption.

This rite of passage takes place in the form of a semi-interactive performance spread over four days. Every day at 14h, a stage from the four-part ritual will be performed. On days one and two, visitors are free to participate in the transition.

(a reference to liminal or the stage of transition)


Day 1: Recognition

On day one, we acknowledge the presence of souls who have died. The blueprint of the souls is reflected in a pattern, painted on the skulls. The moment the last line will be set, the space is sacred. The spirit is present.

 

In practice: we paint on skulls and on handmade paper, with red bister. With this, we acknowledge their presence and their past. What we paint are lines and shapes, symbolizing the path of the animals, their souls, and their bodies. The audience may participate in this.

(± 1 - 2.5 hours)

Day 2: Purification

On day two, we purify the souls. We strip them of their suffering and purge their spiritual wounds. We walk around the site with salt and incense smoke. The skulls are purified. The spirit is pure again.

 

In practice: salt is spread around the room, but also on the site. The public can participate. A pattern is formed in the room using this salt. (± 1 hour)

Day 3: Release

Day three: The animals are now free to disband from this place (the Slaughterhouse site) and move on to a new phase. Their souls may leave the place and find peace. The blood has been washed off the walls. Once and for all, their physical bodies are broken. The spirit is free.

 

In practice: the skulls are broken. This is not an interactive action.

(± 20-30 min.)

Day 4: Repose

We finalize. On the last day, the remains of the skulls are collected. Space is now ready for its new destination. The spirit has crossed over and is thus absent from space.


In practice: We getter the remains of the skulls and meditate together. In this meditation, some of the broken pieces will be given away to the people. We take as much time as needed. thus this is open for participation.

(Time? 2 hours+)