week 8

Notes from the presentations of others

back to the individual project

It seems like the journey of self-healing and sexuality has led me to the exploration of my roots, the journey to my source, my ancestors. Perhaps it is a way for me to turn to guidance.

writing poetry

grandma’s fig trees

A part of me collapsed and a dozen pages flew off the table.

We sat around the table covered with homemade pastries and mint tea

shaking with excitement, grandma showed me what she had been writing

however I had just learned how to read

and as I noticed these scribbles were not real letters, I looked at my mum anxiously

and she told me to shush

so I smiled back at Djedda and told her they were fantastic

as I realised she never understood what I meant when she asked me how old I was

and she never went to school.

Djedda’s fig trees

As my grandma took my hand to harvest the fields,

she talked to the trees and asked me what my future

will be.

I replied that I will be an artist so she asked me what

that means.

I said everyday I will thank the roots of our fig trees

for drinking the water we have carried from the river,

I will thank our old and sturdy trunks for carrying the

history of the women before me,

I will thank its flowers for shutting their eyes in winter,

making babies in spring and giving us fruits in summer,

I will thank the skin of the figs for healing my wounds,

I will thank the sun for making my skin golden and

these figs taste so sweet and ripened.

Because I am also still unable to name a female artist from Algeria, what a miracle

that I am free to hold a paintbrush and write poems under the same trees.

1 Grandma in Algerian.

Elegy to all the women in me

It blows my mind that it took me 19 year to cut the hair band off of my strained hair

and find out how my natural and voluminous dark hair can use space.

19 years to see my curls. 19 years to write poems on my golden skin.

19 years to unravel my tongue and speak poetry, well…

Because my grandma and the women before her

never learned how to spell their own name

I am now writing thousands of poems

that took centuries to burst out

centuries to brew within

centuries of silence

centuries of fear

I rattle the soil of my past with short nails as

I am writing a hymn to the generations of women

who sang as they carried their history and trauma

on their spine to harvest the slope of the mountain.

it blows my mind that

I am the first woman of this family to be free

to cultivate my mind, love my body and heal my soul

It blows my mind that it didn’t take 19 years but

centuries to let my hair be and let you see me

it didn’t take 19 years but centuries to write this.

ritual research
  • definition of ritual

“A ritual is a an activity that usually sticks to a set pattern and typically involves a set of actions, words, and objects. Rituals are often repeated at intervals (whether daily, weekly, annually – or on certain special occasions). The word ritual often has associations of serious formal or religious ceremonies – like graduations, christenings or processions – but a ritual can also relate to cultural activities or traditions that happen in everyday life such as Christmas shopping or carnivals…or even fish and chips on a Friday. A ritual can also be highly personal: Do you always play football or swim on a Saturday morning or have tea at your grannies every Sunday? These could be considered your personal rituals.” –Ritual Coursework Guide – Student Resource | Tate

  • theory and philosophy of art on art and the ritual

Aesthetics Today: What is the relation between ritual and art?

Aesthetics Today: Ritual Theory of Art

Leddy, Tom and Kalle Puolakka, “Dewey’s Aesthetics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2021 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2021/entries/dewey-aesthetics/&gt;.

  • performance and ritual

Performance art and rituals seem to be so intimately connected. One of the first examples that I can think of is “Cleaning the House” by Marina Abramovic. It encapsulates the idea of community, the human connection.

See the source image
See the source image

“Artists’ performance often has a ritualistic quality – as artists create and use their own personal mythologies in order to explore their identity and wider society. Mona Hatoum used her own body as a site for exploring the fragility and strength of the human condition under duress. For the 1985 Roadworks exhibition organised by the Brixton Artists Collective, Hatoum walked barefoot through the streets of Brixton in London for nearly an hour with Doc Marten boots, usually worn by both police and skinheads, attached to her ankles by their laces. This act, captured in Performance Still 1985, is reminiscent of religious pilgrimages where pilgrims endure extreme hardship to demonstrate their belief and faith. Artist Joseph Beuys’s interest in mythology, botany and zoology led him to evolve a rich and complex personal symbolism. To Beuys fat and felt were important symbols of life and survival and he often incorporated these into his performances.” Ritual Coursework Guide – Student Resource | Tate

  • the ritual performance art movement

Ritual Performance Art — Journey to the Goddess

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