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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OAKBaLLZ and EELSkin on show at Rupert, Vilnius (Lithuania). Performance in installation, soil, branches, water, fog, cement bricks, lab equipment, stone, logs, moss, plastics, clay, spray paint, twig baskets, mushrooms, video projectors, speakers, lights. Size 400 x 900 x 2200cm. Duration: 45 minutes. Photography: Andrej Vasilenko.

For the occasion of Earth Bonds, Venus Jasper is bringing their current research into Wetland Worship and speculative Swamp Goddesses to Rupert in the form of a site-specific installation and performance that investigates practices of relatedness and ‘worship’ towards liminal and often accessible zones such as swamps, bogs and fens.

In many myths and folklores, the European landscape wetlands and swamps are the terrains of elves, trolls and other murky submerged entities  – but they are also the realm of industries, fisheries and pollution. In OAKBaLLZ and EELSkin, Venus is embodying a speculative bog goddess that seems angry about being forgotten and drained and seen as a stinky dumpsite, whereas formerly these watery sites would have been worshipped and or consulted for wisdom. For the installation, Venus created an indoor sacred swamp that will offer room for the speculative research of the medicinal and mystical offerings by the swamp: herbal medicines, medicine of smell and stench, medicine of wet-to-dry, water-to-land substances, medicine of submerging, covering one’s skin, the medicine of reflection in the waters of bogs, the medicine of emotion, sadness, grief and death.

Full video here.

The swamp invites its inaccessible, dangerous and murky in-between state to offer up its medicinal and queer aspects. In the form of a landscape, a multi-media installation that reads as a vernacular ‘troll’ wetland medicine lab, Griepink considers our relationships with the known and unknown, the tangible ecological and the ephemeral. The live performance will invoke and speculate on our relationships with wetlands as a space of emotional worship and reflection.

In the orchestrated live electronic soundscape they perform a spoken word/spell evoking grief, reflection and environmental concern. As they tenderly walk across the indoor swamp, they asked the audience why they hadn't left any offerings in the swamp.

One line from the piece, "I only stink because you drained me!", implies that the causes of so-called “environmental issues” are in fact man-made. The emotional performance ended with the song Murky Murky, Little Bitch Witch and a death-drop in the water.

Murky Murky, Little Bitch Witch (song)

  • OAKBaLLZ and EELSkin was shown at Rupert, Vilnius (LT) in 2023 during the Earth Bonds Symposium which also featured: Victoria Ivanova (Serpentine Galleries), Sofia Lemos (TBA21–Academy), Lina Martin-Chan and Calum Bowden (Trust), Aoife Fannin (Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC)), HASHIA, Jenna Sutela, Barnett Cohen, Marissa Lee Benedict and David Rueter, and Ngoc Nau.
  • OAKBaLLZ and EELSkin was one of the leading performances of 2023, and formed an inspiration for the work Herring God MoanZ (Síldarguð MoanZ) performed some months later at LungA Festival (Iceland). The music video Murky Murky, Little Bitch Witch forms the soundtrack of the same titled video work that was made at SÍM Residency in Reykjavik in 2023.
  • The performance featured a costume made with natural dyes made from oak gal balls and details of hemp and fish leather. The research for this costume formed part of the title and spoken word text. See this instagram post for the full spoken word text, or watch the full video on YouTube.
  • OAKBaLLZ and EELSkin is featured on the online performance art platform PerformVU.
  • OAKBaLLZ and EEKSkin is part of the ongoing research project Wetland Worship.

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Performance, Song, Text, Concept: Venus Jasper
Installation: Venus Jasper
Costume: Venus Jasper, Jacob Kok, Simon Pineiros Leone
Music: Venus Jasper + Kamile Dambrauskaite
MUA: Justė Vaškevičiūtė
Lights: Justas Bo
Sound technician : Antanas Dombrovskij
Photography: Andrej Vasilenko
Videographers: Silvestras Polinauskas, Giedrius Ilgūnas

𝘌𝘈𝘙𝘛𝘏 𝘉𝘖𝘕𝘋𝘚 was part of 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘐𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 organized between Rupert Recidency (Vilnius), E-WERK Luckenwalde (Germany) and LUMA Arles (France), co-funded by The European Union, Teltow Fläming and the Lithuanian Cultural Council.Symposium “Earth Bonds” is also co-funded by Vilniaus miesto savivaldybė, Nordic Culture Point.

Amsterdams Fund of the Arts
Amarte, Mondrian Fund