08/15 - 09/04/2009
Urban witches not bitches
Diana Arce |
Fake Mistress |
Legs Akimbo |
Lucy A. Roberts |
opening 08/15/2009 at 8 pm
life performances with Legs Akimbo, Rubbish Fairy and Company Fuck at neurotitan
DJ McGaffee at the Eschschloraque Rümschrümp
Deutsche version hier!
Separated from the power giving source of nature and the wilderness, urban witches use the cityscape as a new primordial forest- a place filled with dangers but also a source of abundant sustenance if they live in harmony with the city and honor it. As a result, the latent power of the city is evoked and an Urban Witch is able to find power in simple man made objects as nature’s energy can be discovered in anything that was created. Urban Witches are in touch with the inherent synchronistic flow of the city which they can ride on just like the U Bahn if they keep their third eyes open. An Urban Witches basic mantra is “TUNE INTO SYNCHRONICITY AND THE CITY WILL ALWAYS PROVIDE.”
Urban Witches therefore communicate with the guardians of the city- the Neon Divas and Electric Gods like streetlights and vending machines. Their temples are high rise buildings and dance clubs, they can recognize and interpret the modern signals of graffiti.
Urban Witches not Bitches is a gathering of Urban Witches featuring the Altars of the Urban Witches: Rubbish Fairy (London), Legs Akimbo (Team Plastique, Berlin), Fake Mistress (Berlin), Diana Arce (Berlin) and Lucy A.Roberts (Berlin). Made synchronistically from found and recycled objects, these Urban Witch altars present how women in the city can create an alternative world outside of the competitive bitch culture “girl power” presented by the mass media with groups like “The Pussycat Dolls”.
Urban Witches not Bitches are also very unique- they do not follow a prescribed New Age or Wicca spirituality but instead find power by discovering and expressing their positive, strong and amazing individual natures.
Urban Witches not Bitches invite Urban Peeps to visit their Urban Witch Altars in the hope that Urban Peeps can also reconnect with their inner minds and seek alternative astral planes.
Diana Arce is a pessimistic optimist who hasn’t lost faith in the world, just some of the people in it. She feels her website has a pretentious name but decided not to change it because she had it for too long and a make up artist in Chicago bought dianaarce.com. Diana Arce is interested in impressing grandparents, workers and activists rather than academics, art critics and the elite. Her work is interdisciplinary and spans across various media, including film, video, installation, performance and street art.
Born in 1981, in Anchorage Alaska, in a family that is the multicultural equivalent of the Brady Bunch, she studied Experimental Film and Cultural Studies at Hampshire College, completing her Bachelors in 2002. Since 2004, Diana has been living in working in Berlin and has exhibited and performed internationally. She is currently a fellow of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and is hopefully soon completing her studies in the post graduate Masters Program Art in Context at the University of Art in Berlin. Her latest project Politaoke has been featured on the BBC, NPR as well as other print and media and is being expanded upon for further world wide domination.
Artist Statement: Dead Collective: Nam June Paik- and/or Poltergeist- Machine
In times of crisis or significant historical change, artist collectives have formed to be a voice of reason and resistance. With the current economic, war, and environmental crisis, the world is ready for a new collective movement in art. The Dead Collective, consisting of Diana Arce, Nam June Paik, Joseph Beuys, Stan Brakhage and anyone else who wants to join, hopes to bridge the gap among the living and the dead and create a dialog among all artists to determine where and how the new movement should be formed.
The Dead Collective began late 2008 with research and experiments to contact deceased Artists to form a collective way of working. The Results of the early research being displayed in the exhibition "Collectives and Egoists" in Barcelona. The Nam June Paik and/or Poltergeist Machine is an installation in which the artist and the public and sit and attempt to communicate with the deceased via a form of Instrumental Transcommunication. The Nam June Paik- and/or Poltergeist- Machine is one phase of a multiphase project to communicate with dead artists.
Why am I am Urban Witch?
I wouldn't go so far to call myself a witch, but rather a witch in training. Real witches weld much more power than I do, trust me, I know.
Olivia Pils aka Fake Mistress was born in 1971 and lives in Berlin since 1991. She has a Masters degree in social anthropology, organises events and, as an experimental singer, plays improvised electronic music, mixed with multi-media performances in various projects and solo. In collaboration with Dr. Nexus she has released CDs and a concept vinyl on the theme "terror as a response to the mediatic dealing with 9.11".
First she started doing installations in her living-room gallery/bar by creating rooms with a special atmosphere through sound, light and other materials, mostly collected in the streets. Since then she has followed this idea of sculptures or installations involving light, sound and perfume. The theme of her works is the violence against women through images that set a norm. Her aim is to subvert the idea of the passive and cute woman in a very subtle way. Lately she has also worked on the combination of body and machine.
Why I am an Urban Witch
When driving my bike through the city, what for other people sounds like humming and buzzing, noise they want to escape from, finds its way into my brain and veins. It is a manifestation of the asphalt, the stones, the electric power, the rythm of the machines that keep on running continually day and night. I can decipher their secret message: we are here, we are here....what keeps them running? sleep-less perfectness. allways running, but its never enough....
my tarot is made of geometric constellations by concrete and power poles, i have learned the language of the crackling sound of electricity, telling me where it comes from, where it is going, and sometimes dark secrets of the humans involved, noone else should know....
Kirsty Kross who works under the artist’s name Legs Akimbo has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Art History from The University of Queensland in Australia.. In 2001 she co-created the performance art and music group Team Plastique which performed in clubs, hosted themed events and created installations and happenings in galleries and the public space. In 2004, the Team built and performed in the installation “Plastiqueland” at the entrance of Australia’s largest festival, The Big Day Out. Later in 2004, Team Plastique relocated to Berlin and have since played frequently in Berlin and Europe. The groups second LP “TITS:This is the Shit.” was launched at the closing party of the Berlin Art Biennale in 2006. Since being based in Berlin, Kirsty Kross has also been working as a solo artist. In 2008 she co-curated “Secrets of the Berlin Supermuse” at Gallerie Neurotitan where she created the installation “Plastiqueland 2”
Her work largely deals with utopia, interactive play and subverting the role and image of women in the music and art industries.
Why am I an Urban Witch
When I was four years old, I put a poster of Kate Bush on my bedroom wall. My father burnt the poster because he said she looked like a witch. When I was seven years old, I believed I was a witch for several months and later got taken to the school principal for putting curses on kid’s in the playground. I guess it was always in me…as an adult I have weird things happen sometimes like dreaming about events or outcomes which then later happen in real life. I believe in synchronicity and even more so, since living in Berlin. I find I often meet people on the street or at a party exactly when I need them in my life. I also once needed a pair of black leather Italian shoes with a low heel and I found a pair in my size on the street about two weeks later…the same happened with a pair of black high top sneakers I also asked the universe for and found shortly after on Kopernickerstrasse.
The Cult of the Realistic Rainbow
This installation is a response to my idealistic and utopian installation, “Plastiqueland 2” which I exhibited at “Secrets of the Berlin Supermuse” at Galerie Neurotitan in 2008. At the time, I was involved in a love affair that seemed perfect but was actually highly conceptual and unrealistic and really a way of me avoiding the pain of breaking up a year earlier with my boyfriend of twelve years. “Plastiqueland 2” was utopian but also lacking my usual edge- I was numb and kind of anaesthetized as I wasn’t facing reality. So yes, the long distance love affair ended, my last year has been hellish and sad, but nonetheless very necessary.
I have created a series of imperfect rainbows symbolizing my need to accept the current instability and chaos of my life and actually embrace it. I believe there is such a strong emphasis on being perfect in our society and too many people focus on the future rather than accepting and being happy in the present. The installation contains other symbols of utopia and perfectionism such as ticks in boxes, smiley faces and overlapping Tannenbaums and palm trees which represent Germany and Australia and my confusion in choosing between living in Berlin or my homeland. The drawing says “Fuck You Sweden” as in Australia, Sweden is regarded as some kind of uber Utopia where everything and everyone is perfect. The Cult of the Realistic Rainbow also subverts a lot of esoteric self help therapy and religious groups which promise utopia but are often ultimately misleading and disempowering. The video features footage of myself painted as The Rainbow Goddess and was filmed on January 1 near Byron Bay in Australia. The night before I’d drunken a magic elixia given to me by a hippy goddess I’d met at a party in the forest and then I had a romantic interlude with the son of a French Duke. Really its all going to be OK.
Lucy A. Roberts
Graduating with a Bachelor of Visual Arts majoring in Sculpture from the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia in 1998, Lucy A.Roberts has since been working in video, performance and production. Her work focuses largely on the lack of connection between contemporary humans with their original, natural, homo sapien instincts. She exhibited her video exhibition “Humanongenosis”
at Gallery Art Claims Impulse in Berlin in January 2007 which featured footage of her series of street interventions where performers devolved into chimpanzee like behaviour on the streets of Sydney, Melbourne and Berlin. In May 2008, she completed a sculpture commission for the CITAMBULOS exhibition at the Deutsches Architecktur Zentrum (DAZ) in Berlin.
“Observation Dystopian” is a collection of observational footage presented on televisions shaped in a form reminiscent of a crystal ball. The work comments on the current condition of the human species living in urban environments which has become more neurotic, detached and paranoid due to the rise of surveillance mechanisms such as CCTV and internet monitoring systems.
Why Am I an Urban Witch
I have never actively considered myself an urban witch but realise I am as I am constantly exploring humanity’s lack of connection with nature and primal instincts. I have always been a keen observer of human behaviour and have had an acute sense for noticing obscure details in people and the way they interact with one another. In many ways I see my work as a scientific study of the human condition and psyche.
Sophie Soni was born in 1982, and at 18 she moved to London to study fashion at Central St. Martins College. It was here that her alterego "Rubbish Fairy" was born, both as an alternative escape into imagination and as a relief from the course.
Rubbish Fairy has been creating collages from trash ever since, working with installation, costume and clothing commissions, collaborations and disused buildings. She has adapted a multitude of spaces to her own style, from a Victorian schoolhouse to a run-down shop, the last and most memorable being "Rubbish & Nasty" in London's New Cross Gate (2005-2008).
In 2007 Rubbish Fairy and her "House Of Doll" became part of the Mutoid Waste Company's "Trash City" area at the Glastonbury Festival. Her Rubbish Installation that adorns her interactive performance rave tent is now an annual fixture of the festival.
Rubbish Fairy currently splits her time between her London studio and her new home in Berlin where she collaborates with audio-visual artist Scott Sinclair.
My "arrangements" are the organisation of chaos in my life's material possessions. There is something tribal in me coming out from my past and inside me. I am making an offering, sending out commands to the universe.
I am sentimental and romantic, but I understand that nothing lasts forever- so when my materials break down, rot and reform into something else. I collect up all the broken pieces and use them again as magic ingredients for the next ritual or spell. Arranging these collections in the form of a shrine, altar, collage, installation or garment, I capture a certain time and meaning for myself. I work instinctively with discarded objects and personal possesions.
In working with found objects, it is my intention to bring value back to them through working with them, adding my own aesthetic and love. Personal possesions in my arrangements already hold a nostalgic value, so I use them untouched. Over time, I believe objects and fabrics invoke memory and spirit.
I create hand-made costumed characters and set up installations, often brought to life with lighting and more recently noise and live performance.
I use the word performance but it is not fictional or rehearsed -it is improvised and real to me - it is the 'theatre of life' and I live within my work as the line between life, art and fantasy blurs and I begin to see my world.
I remember my visions of excess, dreams of beauty and the colorful creatures I searched for and never found. I have been working for my 'child self'...everyone has there own idea of beauty and if I want to see mine I will have to make it. I adapt myself to the media I get inspired by and sometimes invited to work with. It is a metamorphosis of self, material and object.
Over time I will understand more about why or what I want to express this to others.
Why am I an Urban Witch?
No comment, I just am.