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Venus Jasper is a queer visual artist, storyteller, world builder, performative priestess, researcher, educator, writer, and curator, currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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Herring God MoanZ (Síldarguð MoanZ)

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At LungA, a music & art festival in Iceland, 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.

It felt 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 and vernacular Herring Shrine.

Full video here.


Parts of the performance

  • 00:00  Intro
  • 00:46  Herringgod - part 1 (spoken Word)
  • 11:23  Fish Blessing
  • 15:31  Herringgod - part 2 (spoken Word)
  • 17:39  Murky Murky, Little Bitch Witch (song)
  • 26:50  Ritual ending
  • 27:58  Credits

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Credits

CREDITS
Performance, Text, Art Direction: Venus Jasper
Music: Diego Manatrizio (live) + Venus Jasper
Costume: Varis Lis/Peachy Clam + Venus Jasper
Photography: Ólöf Helgadóttir
DOP: Vikram Pradhan
Edit: Venus Jasper

THANKS
LungA Festival
SÍM Residency
Mondriaan Fund