KIKA VON KLUCK
Subliminal Love (go to the videos page to view the performance)
Live action lecture/poem that is intended to be used as a guide to the center of our own mind, which is a maze, by evoking images that were once sacred to most cultures but now have become trivialized by linear thought.
From the depths of white cloth I recite a text relating to a universal language present in symbols and signs woven in textiles, and carved in artifacts and architecture throughout most cultures in the world. I peel the pieces of cloth from my body until I end up in a string skirt for it was the first piece of wardrobe women wore and continued to wear for thousands of years, and I project on my body images I photographed and collected for this piece. At the end of the poem I throw an apple at the audience.
Because the images’ meanings occur in the unconscious and come from a very distant past, I use reverb loops on my voice, my words are echoed and repeated between the past represented by a previous recording of the text and the present live recitation. The audience is encouraged to participate musically in order to break the wall between outside spectators and inside creative power.
Every performance is different because of it’s organic nature, but Subliminal Love generally lasts 13 minutes and 29.5 seconds to symbolize the thirteen moons in a lunar year and twenty nine and a half days in between each of them. Observing the moon cycles was how we started to count time and register symbols.
Heq – Action
Based on wisdom from the “Hekau”, or Words of Power recited by “Heq” women (tribal matriarchs) in pre-dynastic Egypt. Those words helped deliver, transition and recycle life.
Between the audience and I there is a bowl with soft bread, another with water, and a tray with fabric pieces and safety pins. I have inside my mouth a small skeleton, which I slowly spit out. I take a sip of the water and spit in the bread, mixing water with it until it becomes dough, while reciting the “Heq” song. I mold the bread around the skeleton until it resembles a person and arrange the fabric accordingly. Then I give it to a person in the audience and recommend letting the birds eat it.
Ash (go to the videos page to view the performance)
Action based on ancient Canaanite and early Hebrew rituals honoring the sharing of our collaborative efforts in the name of creation.
I wear white wings embodying the embracing cherubs over the ark inside Solomon’s temple. One of them was the Shekhinah, or the (feminine) presence of god. The temple was a house to many syncretistic faiths, practices and rituals, some older than it could be remembered. People gathered wood, burnt incense, poured liquid offerings, and shared cakes in order to be in good grace with the forces of creation.
Images of the Fertile Crescent cultures are projected on my body and wings while I chant sacred names, describe the ritual and share oat raisin cookies with everybody.
I spread the ashes of the previously burnt wishes on my body, bringing them to a human form, materializing everybody’s wishes as an entity, a human phoenix.
Core is the kernel of truth about life and death, the maiden that descended to the underworld in order to understand fully, to be able to use power in its etirety. She brings the seed back from darkness into a new life, by embracing darkness and transformation.
A person in black and red embraces the audience one by one. She has a pomegranate in one hand and a candle in her dress folds. She picks one seed and dedicates it to the person’s present mind and throws it far away. A sencond seed is dedicated to the person spirit and wishes for the future, and she feeds it to the person. Finally, a third seed is dedicated to the person’s body, ancestral lineage and past deeds, and she buries that seed in the ground. Then she pulls the candle out, lights it and wishes happy birthday.
When we see that life and death are the same, or according to some traditions, that seeds travel from the destruction of one cosmos to the creation of another, we can reach a sense of eternal being by returning to nature what we take. We ought to provide for the earth, enrich the soils, clean the waters, and maintain diversity of crops and animals if we want to survive as a species.
The idea of life and death being one continuous process, a system where life feeds on life is represented by a woman singing the names of creation entities and their twin destruction aspects, reciting a recipe for balance and understanding unity in diversity. The respective goddesses images are projected on the screen while the singer fleshes an edible plant and burries the seeds in a receptacle with soil.
GUNAS (go to the videos page to view the performance)
Symbols emanate from a frequency, a vibration that represents a desire to connect with the divine. The universal Creator, Preserver and Destroyer aspects of Nature eventually became personified and, united or individually, were revered and ritualized in innumerable forms. The cycle of birth, life and death was given gorgeous avatars all over the world, but the colors used to represent it were the same throughout most cultures and their Mythologies.
Gunas means Strands in Ancient Sanskrit and each thread stands for a frequency, or state of being and becoming.
In Greece, the threads of Fate were colored white, red and black. In most cultures they formed this one force known as Prakriti, Alat, Ixchel, Cy, Briggit, among others. They had dominion over the Heavens, the Earth, and the Underworld, or the unknown.
They were the Universe, whose body is the Ocean of Possibilities and the seat of creation. Generally born from a sea, or river, they controlled the rains, winds, storms, death, abundance and fertility. They weaved human’s lives and stories, and to their womb, all creation would return to be reborn.
Embodying the Weaver, I cross the stage while braiding white, red and black fabrics while birds of truth create live songs. The sound fades into a monologue about motivation and when the braid is done I spell the word “love” with it. In some cases I hang the braid spelling on coat hangers to remind us of the hang ups we bring into our relationships. This piece varies in time depending on how fast I can braid.
Janua Coeli (go to the videos page to view the performance)
"Janua Coeli - Heaven's gates" is a study of the two cardinal points of the year from the traditional perspective, in which time and space are not rigidly distinguished: for the Winter and Summer Solstices are not only points in time, but also the "Northern" and "Southern" entrances to and exits from the world of matter.
First I distribute a pot with paper and pencil for people to write wishes on.
I put pearls in my mouth and slowly pour them out offering them to the people and wrap them around my wrists.
After I collect the pot with wishes I set them on fire in order to accelerate their delivery to a subtle world, translating them to energetic form.
I sing while the wishes burn.
In the end I pull pearls from my southern parts and wrap them around my wrists.
The pot is left burning on.
The Preserver of the Universe in her many aspects as nurturer of life is invoked here through an ancient technique of chanting her names.
The woman chanting is dressed in Red and digging thorough wet soil molding a clay baby while the screen behind her projects mother icons over imposed on sea waves.
Ride (go to the videos page to view the performance)
Myths have many sources and versions, and the myth of Europa is no different. In one version a maiden falls in love with a docile bull crowns him with a wreath of flowers, mounts him and he takes her to the island of Crete iniciating the European civilization. A way of interpreting it is that it represents the first time an heiress to an eastern Mediterranean land left her life there to live on another shore with a man from beyond the sea, initiating trade and cultural exchange.
A woman carries flowers and spreads salt across the stage with the Mediterranean shores and the myth’s images projected on the background. She meets a stranger, in a bull’s hat, and slowly approaches him. They aknowledge each other, embrace, entangle and leave through the middle of the image, parting the sea.
The deep unconscious is dressed as “The Lady who wears a thin black veil.” She sits in a piece of sand and burns rose petals, salt, honey and blood. Her companions are the vulture and the snake, compassionate agents of transformation. So are ants, toads, dogs, cats, and boars. She promises resurrection through transmutation of matter, transcending essential existence, and guaranteeing immortality through form shifting.
Dissolution is represented by a woman whispering a message in Morse code while the words are projected through the room and behind her the screen shows fire, lava and storms, caves, mazes, cropping, pomegranates and apples along with wise old councilors from the underworld. A live band accompanies the piece.
2 people lie on the floor head to head (dressed in black and white feathers and snake printed clothes). They slowly rise from the floor twisting around each other while images of water are projected on them and if possible the projections spill out into the room. Once they are standing they reach for an Aloe Vera plant, cut it in half and each walk around the room in different directions touching people's foreheads with it and reciting a song. We don't need to walk through the whole room, as long as we get two spirals in different directions and meet again where we began.
The concept of this action is based on the idea that artists, like shamans, are catalysts for transformation, on a hypothesis that "shamans take their consciousness down to the molecular level and gain access to bio molecular information" and in the fact that a great amount of cultures have their Creation Stories based on the twirl, the energy created by the entwining movement of forces a lot of times represented by cosmic double snakes, generating between them rods of a ladder made of twisted language and connecting the material and immaterial worlds. This language can be translated into metaphors and symbols like the double helix of a caduceus borrowed by modern medicine as a symbol of healing, or the yin and yang, also a symbol of healing, which could be seen as a dance of forces perceived from above. The feathered snake of Mayan mythology and oracle is supposed to bring consciousness transformation and collective healing. The Aloe Vera plant is known to heal tissue inside and outside the human body. After awakening as feathered snakes the performers will touch people's foreheads with Aloe while reciting a poem, in the hope that its vibrations will penetrate their beings and transform their perception.
Planting cultures around the world developed rituals to maintain the fertility of the land and assure good crops. Most of them associated human sexuality with yielding capacity. In one example from pre-Hellenic Greece, ritual copulation on the field before sowing the seeds was necessary to identify the couple’s climax with acceptance of the seed by the soil.
This piece is homage to Demeter’s encounter with Iasion at the thrice-plowed field.
A farm field ready to be planted is projected onto the screen while a lady in purple crosses the stage from left to right singing the text and throwing seeds as she walks. She meets a young man on the other side; they embrace and lay on the floor. Lights out. Lights on. He stands atop of a ladder with a jar full of water, she lays on the ground with her legs spread. He slowly pours the water between her legs.