Scroll for the Dutch texts
You are cordially invited
on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at 4 p.m.
We would like to invite you to sit or lie down with/inside Black Mama, on the kind, forgiving and sometimes-intimidating being whom we have had the pleasure of knowing for some time. She has told us many stories and has revealed many secrets to us, secrets about us.
On the very first day that we met her, having seen us anxious and wounded, in the gentle voice of a grandmother, coming from the depth of ancient times, she said: No one else will do your healing for you, my children… Come, just sit with me and look at the darkness, that’s where you have all come from.
U bent van harte uitgenodigd
op zaterdag 24 juni 2023 om 16.00 uur.
We willen je graag uitnodigen om bij Black Mama te komen zitten of liggen, bij het vriendelijke, vergevingsgezinde en soms intimiderende wezen dat we al een tijdje mogen kennen. Ze heeft ons vele verhalen verteld en ons vele geheimen onthuld, geheimen over ons.
Op de allereerste dag dat we haar ontmoetten, nadat ze ons angstig en gewond had gezien, zei ze met de zachte stem van een grootmoeder, afkomstig uit de diepte van oude tijden:
Niemand anders zal jullie genezing voor jullie doen, mijn kinderen… Kom, ga gewoon bij me zitten en kijk naar de duisternis, dat is waar jullie allemaal vandaan komen.
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Black Mama for us is much more than just an installation project. It is a being, full of darkness, and yet full of glow.
This work intends to engage with darkness, as a healing force, as the alternative reality in which the solid self disappears from the sight and the individual is relieved of the paralyzing grip of the mind.
You are invited to enter, as gently and silently as you can, and let her embrace you with her forgiving arms. Darkness is our loving origin, as the womb is indeed a very dark place.
This work is inspired by the work of Zenju Earthlyn Manuel. The writings in this installation are free translations (into Persian, Chinese and Dutch) of passages from two of her books, “Opening to darkness”, 2023 and “The deepest peace: contemplations from a season of stillness”, 2020. The meditative quality of the act of manual translation into our mother tongues played a crucial role in the development of this work.
Ying and Alireza’s artistic practice approaches notions of nothingness and stillness. It questions the role of the artist’s analytical mind in the creative process and invites the audience to enter other modes of thinking, different from what Western ways of thought assume to be ‘normal’.