Athena Vida, Deiknumena, 2017. Installation detail, environmental dimension. Courtesy of the artist and Quartz Studio.
March 20–May 31, 2017
Via Giulia di Barolo, 18/D
On Monday, March 20, 2017 at 6pm, Quartz Studio is delighted to present the exhibition Deiknumena, a site-specific project by the German artist Athena Vida (born as Gitte Schäfer, Stuttgart, Germany, 1972).
A ritual act needs a definition in space and time.
It usually follows a set of rules that provide the choreography of a liturgy.
is one out of four parts within the Eleusinian Mysteries,
which are the secret religious rites and initiations of ancient Greece.
The ritual acts were composed out of following components
Things done Dromena
Things said or sung Legomena
Things displayed Deiknumena
Things envisioned Epiphania
The mysteries are related to a myth and celebrate the return of Persephone from the
underworld into the world of the living and are welcoming spring.
Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, was seized by Hades and taken to the
underworld. Her mother in despair, looking for her daughter, dismayed her duties and
the earth froze and people starved—the first winter.
When finally Zeus allowed Persephone to go back to her mother
and as they were reunited, the earth prospered, blossomed and flourished again.
Persephone’s return stands for the rebirth of all plants in spring and in a wider sense
all life on Earth.
The show Deiknumena opens on March 20, the beginning of spring.
The Equinox, an equilibrium between day and night, durations of light and darkness
are identical. A distillation of sun and moonpowers takes place in the alchemical
process. Through a transformation process they are fused into one.
At its very core, alchemy is unification of polarities, communion of spirit and matter, in
order to bridge the gap between the earthly and the heavenly realms.
Mysteries were intended to elevate man above the human sphere into the divine.
On the Emerald Tablet we find the concept of
That which is below corresponds to that which is above
And that which is above corresponds to that which is below.
Corresponding in the sense of “being in union with,”
two separate things actually being one.
Symbols are points of unity.
In all cultural traditions there are images of the androgynous, of dual cosmic energy,
representing the idea of oneness, completeness, the union of the physical and the
spiritual. In the Neolithic Age there existed highly organised, peaceful cultures,
based on equality of all human beings. The writer Riane Eisler coined the term
“Gylany” for such balanced, non patriarchal and non matriarchal social systems.
As each one of us through perceiving the world is creating the world,
imagine each one of us being an equally balanced Gylany within ourselves.
A space within Quartz Studio will be marked off by four copper columns, crowned by
branches of an arborvitae. Within the defined space an anonymous, androgynous
green goddess will be throning on an erected altar, signifying the axis mundi that
allows travelling and correspondence between higher and lower realms.
The goddess herself, the altar, the offerings surrounding her as the symbols contained,
weave a net of intertwining meanings.
They create a myth about unification, promoting the androgynous within us, advertising
and advocating the reintegration of female principles within our society in order to
find balance again.
Mythological stories and symbols speak a universal language.
Truth of myth is not knowledge. They speak with aspirations and standards grounded
in images. Each myth tells us about how a reality was born or came into existence.
Myth and ritual do not make any difference between the different levels of reality.
Imagination and being are actually the same thing.
Athena Vida, born as Gitte Schäfer (Stuttgart, Germany, 1972), lives and works in Oberwil im Simmental, Switzerland. If Schäfer’s works openly acknowledge a tribute to artists who inspire her, particularly the Surrealists, like Meret Oppenheim, the encounter with Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Tarot and his ideas about the Psychomagic, deeply influenced the artist and her work. The work of the artist, who used to set up “objects trouvés” with surprising results as funny portraits, useless machines, geometric and colorful patterns, turned into more complex installations in which every single element has a meaning as part of a syncretic mythology. As Gitte Schäfer, the artist had solo shows in galleries based in Berlin, Paris, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, and Zurich. She showed internationally in institutions and exhibited in group shows, like Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland (2015); Kunsthalle Marcel Duchamp, Cully, Switzerland (2014); Kjubh e.V., Cologne, Germany (2014); Château de Chamarande, Centre d’Art Contemporain, France (2010); LACE Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, USA (2010); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA (2009); CAPC, Musée d`Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, France (2008); ICA, Philadelphia, USA (2006); FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France (2006).
Athena Vida currently works with Mehdi Chouakri Gallery in Berlin, Germany, Lullin + Ferrari in Zurich, Switzerland, and with Studio SALES in Rome.
Quartz Studio would like to thank the artist. The show will be open from March 21 until May 31, 2017, upon appointment.