February - May 2105
“The qualities of transformation embodied in forged metalwork - from rock, through fire, into cultural artefact - perhaps helps to explain why it is often used as a medium through which to communicate with the ancestors and the spirit world in many parts of Africa”
"Among the Lele of the Democratic Republic of Congo, finely crafted iron arrow-heads were not simply a means of acquiring game. In a sense they acted as emisssaries passing from the cultured world of men to the spirit world of the forest during the highly ritualised act of hunting. The axes and knives of Shona spirit mediums in Zimbabwe, although not representing the ancestor in any litteral sense, are used as pouthpieces through which they can be contacted." (British Museum)
Alchemy/ Transformation/ Rite of Passage
Mothers and Fathers is a year long experiment attempting to craft symbols and a structure for a personal rite of passage.
Structuraly inspired by the key elements found in most rites of passages from childhood to adulthood :
Invoke the ancestors
Leaving childhood by killing-transforming-marking / psychologically and physically / the child through an experience that will shape the adult into what is expected of him/her by his/her cultural group - and giving him/her the necessary symbolic language to psychologicaly achieve a passage from childhood to adulthood.
MOTHERS AND FATHERS
Through a ritualised making process that becomes the ritual of passage itself, the piece - 25 handcrafted steal blades - adresses themes such as breaking with transgenerational transgression, becoming an individual freed from the rotten ties of a lineage.
Reclaiming a voice amongst the familial structure, the piece is also inspired by an imaginary ending to Persephone's myth. Daughter of Demeter and Zeus, niece and wife of Hades, Persephone's voice is unheard. Objectified, controlled and yet not protected by her family members, her only mean of revolt is to cry and refuse to eat the food of the underworld (which she even fails to do, leading to her permanent incestuous union with Hades ).
For another ending -
Queen of the underworld, she is at the source of life and death, where fertile cycles start and end. Persephone learns that living force can be pulled out of void.
Having cried enough, she finds resources in the underworld, metal and fire, into which she breathes her strenght and desire for freedom. An army reclaiming her voice, with which she leaves the incestuous cave and the blind father and the overbearing mother pearched on Olympius.
She leaves and become a woman, changing her name for the third time.
MOTHERS AND FATHERS
Anger remains silent
One never found guilty
For perverted individuals have created a science of their own
Something that exists within itself
Colonised, borders drawn by another one's desire
Who holds the power
Who's the intruder
Tectonic plates of incestuous currents
What is consent when the mind is unaware
Where lies the responsibility of a soul that is ill
What was agreed
Where is the voice
Mothers and Fathers
Anger against lovers
Turned into a criminal fantasy
Settled exclusively in the mind
Far from the battlefield
Fear of diseases
For the body speaks a language that is no longer understood
Drawing a map
Of all the places to visit one last time
Closing the doors properly
Leaving a clean house behind
There are many other stories to tell
One last time
Like an incantation
Many carry in their bones a familial curse
Having forgotten a long time ago
What it meant to love themselves
And to love others.
But hidden in the weapons
Sleeps a key to peacefulness
A healing intention