Georgia Stellin (with artist Raffaela Naldi Rossano): Drakospita

‘Aeroponic’ – root systems nourished by air – Acts is the name given to the nomadic Dutch Art Institute’s final Kitchen presentations. Each participant addresses one question, as a practice of engagement.

Here you will find the documentation of Georgia Stellin's presentation as filmed by Baha Görkem Yalım. The written report is by Harun Morisson and it includes a summary of the comments by esteemed guest respondents.


Georgia's question: Where do we meet?

Georgia's introduction: Drakospita is a multimedia presentation conceived and produced with artist Raffaela Naldi Rossano. Through the practice of dream-meshing we unearthed the journey taken together. Drakospita—an intimate space imbued with love—stems from shaking the semantics of language and conceiving time as one temporal space to confuse power structures, while at the same time evoking a political and spiritual confabulation based on gestures, stories or the creation of symbols, bodies, and objects. Are dreaming and rituals as a methodology—by summoning mythological figures—an attempt to create a choral language?

Harun's report: A disembodied voice enjoins us to close our eyes and take a deep breath. . . . WE SAW EACH OTHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OUR DREAMS . . . there’s a spotlight on a bowl, as though awaiting a ritual. Two voices are speaking to each other, it is unclear what is live, what is pre-recorded, what is amplified. PAST GHOST. DISTRACTION. EVERY JOURNEY. . . WHAT SHOULD WE MAKE OF THESE VOICES IN THE DARK. . . WE CANNOT GRASP THESE VOICES EASILY. WHAT SHOULD WE MAKE OF THESE RESISTANT CONFUSING VOICES. FORGET ABOUT HUMANS. JOIN THE MONSTERS. THE WATER NYMPH AT THE EDGE OF THE WATERFALL. A PURIFICATION BY SEA WATER OF A BODY PART OF YOUR CHOICE FOR THE FUTURE. 

Audience members one by one walk to a microphone under the spotlight and take a scoop of water, dab themselves with water.  Different things are said into the microphone, promises, whispers, songs. This took place in the semi-darkness, the lack of visibility on stage created an intensity and self-containedness that evoked a religious ritual. 

Barby Asante: Ritual as methodology. . . I wanted to see more in the work, I wanted to see more of the ritual, to feel what it is to be in ritual. I felt a resistance, or tension, between the voices and my presence. 

Ritual can be a holding space. . .  So how do we produce ritual to describe and delineate a timelessness that occurs? I wanted to think about the politics of why we might use rituality. Three questions to leave you with. . . around the invitation to participate. . .  where is the holding? where is the receiving? . . If ritual is methodology, where is the purpose? . . . that holding of the difficulty that emerges in the shamanic.

Momtaza Mehri: I was thinking through this situation as a space to create a choral language and what it offers, to make a wish in one’s mother tongue, a current tongue, even the language of the future. It took me back to the mythical origin of the birth of language: The Tower of Babel. 

Have we experienced a reclamation of ritual? Can rituals be a space for alternative cannons or alternative ways of being? Can we think of ritual-time as a temporal space to reconceive power structures? The lack of visuality took me away from a typical engagement with stage performance which I found useful. 

Lisette Lagnado: My contribution would be an encouragement not to think past, present and future in a linear way, but to think about time as a spiral. Drawing on my research in Afro-Syncretist practice. “The saint killed a bird yesterday with a stone he only threw today.” We should learn to stop thinking in terms of the progression of time. . . The notion of both what has passed and what constitutes a mother tongue, how to deal with the presence of our ancestors - are becoming more and more present. I would invite you to unsettle all these categories of time. 

Georgia Stellin's "Drakospita" was presented before live audience at the Posttheater in Arnhem on August 26th.

Find the overview of all 24 AEROPONIC ACTS 2021 here: UNDERSTORY CHANT

About Georgia Stellin