Dripstone is the research blog for queer visual artist, researcher, writer and curator Venus Jasper.

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Wetlands: HerringgodZ

*swamp ship landing in progress*

We continue here with the next two stops of the Wetlands Worship project.




𖦹 Second Stop: LungA Festival, Seyðisfjörður

After my adventures in Vilnius, I went on a trip to Iceland to spend my whole month of July there. I took part of LungA festival in Seyðisfjörður and the SIM recidency in Reykjavik.

LungA is an intimate art festival where creativity, arts and culture are celebrated with workshops, lectures and events. It's been around for more than 20 years now, and it was very special for me to flow here from Rupert - where LungA curators saw my piece live.

The town Seyðisfjörður boomed during Iceland's Herring Adventure (1867-1968). A period with lucerative fisheries, blooming town and economies, until eventual over-fishing made the whole system collapse.

At LungA, I performed inside an empty and rusted giant old fish SILO. The space, with un-imaginable reverb, used to be jam-packed with the bodies of Cod Fish, fermenting there for the use in industrial cosmetics. I decided to dedicate a spoken word and song (my set for Rupert, but modified) towards a speculative Herring God, arguing that in all the fish-rush no shrine or temple has ever been erected for the species central in the economic boom.

The piece Herring God Moanz was a ritual of transformation, grief, praise, and release. Supported by musician Diego Manatrizio, the work offered an emotional and lyrical sonic space that dwells somewhere between a music concert and a shamanic ritual for the Wetlands. While speaking, lamenting, singing, and hissing, I created connections between the sacredness of water and the dark layers of climate grief, mudslides, and the awkward industrialismz through which Western society is marking the planet. Between the homage to water and the grief of climate decay, I ask: 𝘞𝘩𝘰 𝘰𝘸𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘴𝘩? 𝘞𝘩𝘰 𝘰𝘸𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥? 𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘎𝘰𝘥𝘻. 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘉𝘰𝘯𝘦. 𝘙𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘋𝘶𝘴𝘵.

Retrospectively, this is one of the first moments I've used industry in my work directly. And the link with the environment and industry, and how those things have been linked for decades. Climate grief too, is coming back strongly in the work since Vilnius, although EARTHHURT also adressed that. In general, something seems to shift away from pure soil utopia and dance party rituals as I come home in a deeper emotional and creative realm.

Also musically, the two collabs so far have been incredible. It is giving an enormous amount of inspiration for the current record I'm working on. Can't wait for whats next to come.

It was incredible to sing for the fish, ask for conscience about our industrial taking-taking-taking of earthly abundance. Deeply honoured to have performed this piece in this rusty SILO Herring God Cod God Shrine.

Bellow are some of my instagram shots. Check my highlights on Instagram for more, or check below for the full 4K video registration of the piece Herring God Moanz

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*swomp Swomp*


LungA Festival
Photography: Ólöf Helgadóttir
Camera: Vikram Pradhan
Costume: Jasper Griepink + Varis Lis / Peachy Clam

Wetlands Worship is made possible by:
Mondrian Fund, Amsterdam Fund of the Arts,
Amarte Fund.

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