Notes from the Director IRIS BROSCH
Imagine a Modern Diane, as an idea of woman reclaiming the heart of Nature from civilization historically shaped by the Male system. Here the new Diana, as a new woman, as a contemporary goddess, occupies her own system, and every woman has the capacity to be a goddess.
Preliminary thoughts by David Goldenberg
At the end of this time and entrance into new time the living and the dead stand together.
How is a new creature, a new Diana, imagined at the end of time? What does this new time and new space look like? It is said that there is very little difference between now time, Paradise and Eden, and even the eternal return of the same which imagines the shift from now into new spaces for new humans? It is said to look exactly like everyday life but with a difference. What is this difference? You can see the new film posing this question.
We can see this new time signalling the end of the catastrophe, the end of the destruction of animals, nature, the environment and the end of the long historical and unforgivable misuse of women.
But strangely enough Brosch is assembling her new woman, her new Goddess, at a time of renewed puritanism and prudery. But let’s say in this new time previous iterations of what we imagined was thought through and familiar breaks down, becomes irrelevant, how things and beings exist, and what being looks like, in this new time requires to be reimagined.
Brosch talks about the importance of deconstruction to the process of constructing her thinking and performance, to test the limits and habits of thinking. I understand this to mean the unmooring of thinking from its existing sclerotic references and concepts, by releasing a series of new imagery.
A start to reimagine this new topology is through celebrating the break with the Eurocentric male order, by breaking binary opposition of the sexes, where there is instead a blurring, mutation and expanded possibilities of human beings, this puts into question the terms and categories at our disposal, where what exists can only be evoked.
How does Brosch assemble her new Diana and new Goddess?
The setting for imagining this new Diana is the 17th Century Musee de la Chasse. The narrative is organised by the movement through the Museums rooms, where the displays of each room, paintings, sculptures, weapons, musical instruments, stuffed animals, animal skins, tapestries acts as props, trappings, backdrops for a series of tableaus, often arranged frontally like a picture, going from one static arrangement to the next.
The film starts fully formed within the rooms of the Museum. And as with previous films by Iris Brosch the material of her art are very beautiful naked young people, often women, living sculptures and works of art. Their first appearance is as a group of naked warriors, and this group of interlinked women and men, are developed throughout in a constant changing pattern. All the tribes of women come together, so that not only are we witness to the evocation and enactment of warriors from Africa, North and South American, amazons from ancient Greece, we are also watching the slowly changing mutating construction of a new creature, where it is difficult to differentiate individuals from the group. So what is this group and who is Diana?
The language of the performance is set out from the beginning. Central is the notion of the hypnotic image. A spell, a type of setting, a type of picture, which pulls the viewer’s attention into the work and doesn’t release the viewer until it is finished, while influencing other work and space around it. This is complimented inside the image by the looks, expressions and gestures of the women, triggering enchantment, puncturing the veneer of the everyday, momentarily transporting us somewhere else. Each new pattern and configuration of bodies, with each new prop, animal pelt, black thigh high shiny boots, jewellery, hair design, makes that image even more full and luxurious, while at the same time celebrating and enhancing the sheer beauty and voluptuousness of the naked bodies.
Not only do these warriors carry spears, bows and arrows, flint lock rifles, in each scene the women are entwined with animal skins, animal trophies, stuffed stags and boars, animals linked to Diana. Sometimes the women imitate the movement of the animals, and quite often wear their skins to partially cover their naked bodies not only as trophies to celebrate their prowess but also by way of linking them to the spirit of the animal, so you sense there is a shamanistic ritual taking place, rituals to raise the dead animal. If we go along with this we can witness the building of further attributes of the female, a sort of aching fierce perfect physical form, aristocratic poise and dignity, princely and queenly qualities.
text DAVID GOLDENBERG