Keeping an open heart to the possibility of a relation is what makes change and recovery possible.
In the work ‘Possibility of a Relation’, the artist Jatun Risba traces in the air and in the space an alchemic matrix for the webs of conviviality to come. A transparent one square meter film – symbolizing the burden of the rising cost of living, including real estate – is attached to the gallery floor with blue tape. This blue-edged square is both a sanctuary of hopes for the future and the threatening abyss of the ocean with its rising sea-levels and the memories of many who died trying to cross it. The artist enacts a poetic performative action with a white wooden board and a spirit bottle containing the artist’s menstrual blood. A poetic spell is written on the piece of wood, representing the body of a ship traversing the Atlantic ocean in a staged minimundus, a world in miniature. Its echo – “possibility of a relation” – is underlined with the artist’s menstrual blood, which is the blood of life and inner cleansing.
Through a nonagressive offering of inner substances, the performance creates a portal where time is suspended. In ritual time, past, present and future coexist, so that magic and trans-generational healing can occur. The material traces of the performance become part of the installation. The artwork is informed by and deals with the Transatlantic Slave Trade past in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands. By devising a life-enhancing rite of passage with the use of cruelty-free menstrual blood, the artist – who identifies as queer and had secondary Amenorrhoea during the 7 years of their radical self-healing from Multiple Sclerosis (2012-2019) – detours Zeeland’s past of violence against humanity on one hand and the magical use of blood in Voodoo rituals, gained through animal sacrifice, on the other.
‘Possibility of a Relation’ was conceived during a research art residency in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands in the beginning of 2023. Below you can watch a recording of the prototype performance 'Possibility of a Relation' that occured on th 8th of June 2023 at the CBK Zeeland in Middelburg, NL without the presentation of the project in its full form and complexity, as a performative multichannel sound installation.
Thanks to Yuki Jungesblut for the beautiful photos. More about her work at https://new.yukijungesblut.net.