Ruimte in de stad
door Mieke Mannens
From left to right:
1. Free Angelika Artuh!
Navalny protest in Russia brought a lot of sorrow and damage to people and my friend, Angelika Artuh, a cinema critic, teacher and writer of a books The New Hollywood. History and Concept (2015) and Film Feminism: Women Filmmakers of the 21st Century (2018).
She was brought to the Sakharov detention center near Moscow for 12 days.
This image of her came very spontaneously, as I was so sad to read that she was imprisoned. I wish for her a superpower, to be as strong as a magical bird.
It is not related to any particular bird in the Russian or any other mythology but it is rather a hybrid image of all magical birds altogether. It might be seen as a mixture of the Phoenix, Zhar-ptitsa and Garuda bird.
The phoenix (/ˈfiːnɪks/; Ancient Greek: φοῖνιξ, phoînix) is a bird associated with Greek mythology (with analogs in many cultures) that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. Some legends say it dies in a show of flames and combustion, others that it simply dies and decomposes before being born again.
The most famous and late bird in the world of Russian folk fantasy is the Zhar-ptitsa, which has adopted some properties of many other fairy tale birds. Its prototype was obviously the Phoenix. Resembling a peacock, she also lives in the beautiful Garden of Eden of Iria in a golden cage, from which she flies out only at night. Her golden feathers can shine in the darkness and affect human sight, but at the same time, the Firebird gives the blind back their ability to see, and her singing cures the sick. When she sings, pearls fall from her beak. The Firebird feeds on golden apples, which give her eternal youth, beauty, and immortality. Perhaps that’s why fairy tale heroes have hunted for it, and musicians and artists have praised it in their works.
Garuda is described as the king of birds and a kit-like figure. He is shown either in zoomorphic form (giant bird with partially open wings) or an anthropomorphic form (man with wings and some bird features). Garuda is generally a protector with the power to swiftly go anywhere, ever watchful and an enemy of the serpent.Garuda is a part of state insignia in India, Thailand, and Indonesia. The Indonesian official coat of arms is centered on the Garuda. The National emblem of Indonesia is called Garuda Pancasila.
2. We Are Here
Since the pandemic started people are throwing away a lot of stuff more than ever, especially mattresses. What a perfect place to write an expression, imagine! With a modest support of newcomers with whom I shared the ideas about the matras as a place of expression we created the Matras Platform initiative and started conversations with people in the city of Amsterdam, by writing on matrasses the questions that we have produced during our conversations.
This action can be seen as the desire to invent another form of communication to raise the sense of community that is so necessary to Care of.
I have discovered a strange effect on my Psycho and I think it is a reaction to the disciplining society which came with the lockdown. Plus, the possible imprisonment of a Russian activist Yulia Tsvetkova affected the mind as well. She draws naked bodies and the authorities want to put her in prison like “Pussy Riot”.
Once I came to my studio in the middle of the day, after a daily routine of filling in the application forms and other endless things because I am a citizen of this society. I looked at a drawing of a Christmas tree that meant to be a sweet memory of a celebration with dears, and suddenly got a clear vision of how I should destroy this sweet Christmas tree. It instantly became a symbol of power, all intimacy associated with family and friends vanished.
I destroyed the sacral Christmas tree by applying human genitals to them.
4. Self Care
*The hand writing from the right :
The discourse of caring implies caring for oneself
The Selfcare subject is very important and sometimes you need to encourage all your will in order to jump in the void of relaxation.
A people-machines work fully without stopping, as the society oppresses us to be as productive as it is humanly possible, neglecting and crushing our feelings and creativity.
My friends often complain that they cannot stop working sometimes and literally cannot tear off their asses from the computer chairs.
But we must do it sometimes. Become a bird and embrace yourself as often as your Selfcare organs will allow you.
But on the other hand, perhaps the next stage of caring for oneself is not caring for oneself the way that we are used to? We are not talking about altruism and humanism (this is still the same selfcare), but about an object-oriented philosophy of a being that tries to bring inanimate objects and nature into the circle of subjects and actors. It is true that a human as a self-centered being also sees a benefit for himself in this philosophy – an ecological one. But the critique of anthropocentrism is broader than an intention to save the environment (for a human). Perhaps, it can help shift the focus from human with his endless concern for himself to something else?
5. I just do not want to start the day …
This is the image of an imaginary potential tapestry that came to me as a vision between a dream and reality in the early morning. My mom fell ill with COVID some time ago and still cannot fully recover. Sometimes, especially when I am far away and cannot come and visit her, I create images of tapestries in my mind that we might do together. Mom was doing tapestries all her life, being a member of The Artist Union, Applied Textile Art department. When Nikita Khrushchev in USSR came to power, he gave 2% of all government budget to the decoration of the Houses of Culture, Sports venues, Schools, and other public venues. That was a time when my parents finished their Academies and the government commissioned them to make tapestries for the public needs. Nowadays, we do not have such a government in Russia and the sophisticated craft of doing tapestries is disappearing. But we can still dream about the tapestries, and it is almost like a prayer for a better future.
6. Free Businessmen!
We are all businessmen in this world and our work has altered us, the work is our religion. Without work we are nothing. But let me share a preposition: The pandemic shook this statement of the work sacredness coined by the Age of Reason-look how the work-robe of a businessmen are flowering with the bubbles with veins.