VBKÖ – Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs


Rituals of Resistance

Artists: Rheremita Cera, Tetta, Va-Bene E. K. Fiatsi

Opening / Performative Screening and Artist Talk with Faris Cuchi: at 4pm on May 26  

Exhibition: May 31 – June 16 

Opening hours: Friday and Saturday, and  June 2, 2 – 6pm
*This program is part of Independent Space Index 2024: Festival of independent art spaces in Vienna on May 31- June 2.

Rituals of Resistance is an exhibition self-curated by the artists Rheremita Cera (BR/DE), Tetta (BR/DE) and Va-Bene E. K. Fiatsi (GH), where they bring together in VBKÖ’s space video performances, performance documentations and installations by each one. Opening on the 26th of May, from 16h, the exhibition proposal was selected through the open call How Are You Practicing What You Preach by VBKÖ. The confluence of works is an extension and celebration of their encounter during the occasion of a one year mentorship program offered by Va-Bene E. Fiatsi through the independent institution she runs in Kumasi, Ghana – PerfocraZe International Artist Residency -pIAR. Tetta and Rheremita had the opportunity to be in exchange with Va-Bene and two other mentors through the process, among other 10 mentees/artists from Ghana and from abroad.

The act of resistance involves and evokes various tactics, and in this selection they share in the space a constellation of artworks and practices where the political and spiritual are bonded together through the erotic – honoring our great sister Audre Lorde’s Uses of the Erotic as Power, where the erotic is offered as a whole system of knowledge to foster liberation and build bridges from the self to the community.

“it has become fashionable to separate the spiritual (psychic and emotional) from the political, to see them as contradictory or antithetical. The dichotomy is also false, resulting from an incomplete attention to our erotic knowledge. For the bridge which connects them is formed by the erotic – the sensual – those physical, emotional and psychic expressions of what is deepest and strongest and richest within each of us, being shared: the passions of love, in its deepest meanings” (LORDE, 1978)

As we see the conservative ascent in the world, we resort to micro-political tactics of resistance and mutual empowerment by making use of this erotic force. Considering the actual political situation in Ghana (see Ghanaian anti-LGBT bill https://www.jurist.org/news/2023/07/ghana-parliament-unanimously-pass es-extreme-anti-gay-bill/) the PerfocraZe International Artist Residency -pIAR is a space of a huge importance for the local queer artists as well as for queer artistic community from abroad, fomenting rich interpersonal exchanges. The crisis Ghana is going through is a reflection of centuries of imposed colonial practices overthere, specially through the intersection of fundamentalist religions and politics, and now all the world is about to watch from afar the severe dismantling of the most basic rights queer people have obtained there so far. In such a context of criminalizing LGBTQIA+ population, pIAR is urgently seeking for funding to purchase a 12 bed room space with studio facilities that can accommodate about 26 people (including the artists in residence, the pIAR team, interns and mentees) at a cost between $200,000 and $300,000
(see: https://www.gofundme.com/f/xx48d3-save-piar)

About the works:

In the video “Kall For Healing” (15’29”)
Va-Bene invites the audience to join the ritual of healing as an intimate encounter, communal solidarity and to reflect on their own wounds. It allows both the artist and the audience to reimagine their own journey to healings while contemplating on the wholeness and the wildness of that enduring process of becoming.

According to the artist, healing is a process and a ritual of becoming through physical, spiritual, mental and emotional endurance, violence and alternative death. It intensifies its own pains by scratching our wounds. We die to live! Our endurance is only sustained through the joy, the hope and dreams of rebirth. Healing and its rituals are paradoxical, leaving us with new scars and fresh memories of our wounds that allow us to reimagine our own wholeness, survival, strength and experience a new perfection.

This Project was developed while in residence at prohelvetia_residency hosted by the Progr_Bern Switzerland supported by @prohelvetia @prohelvetia_johannesburg

In “SKATITING AROUND” (16’28”) Tetta experimentitis a new utilitity for a collectition of donatited bras gathered from Brazil during a previous exhibitition. At the occasion the bras dressed up a column in the space. In the video documentatition from the performance presented at pIAR, Ghana, during the opening of the mentee’s group show BEFORE THE RAIN, the garmentit acquires new connotitations.
For the artist, skatiting is an actition of joy as much as itit is a risk. Being covered with this protectition of bras is both comfortiting and limititing some movementits. While sliding among the audience, Tetta plays witith posing, speed, and balance, trying to come closer to the people. The armor then opens up as stretched structures tied up across the space that can be both supports and obstacles.

In the music-video “À VIVA, AVIVA!” (20’20”), Rheremita Cera builds a new queer oracle in the shape of a film. They create characters of a Queer Mythology, revering the Now, taking in account the Past, asking permission to enter the Future.

In the music-video-manifesto, “ΨψPOSEIDONNAΘθ” (07’07”)
by Teta Lírica & Rheremita Cera. Shoot in Sounion, Greece, 2020. After such an APPARITITION at the Posidon’s Temple, the forbidden images have come back as GHOSTITS. Could sacred ANTIQUITITIES embody CRITITCAL memory?

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