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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Trans Neolithic Future

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During the tragic pride week in New Zealand that became world news due to the fatal shooting in a Christchurch mosque, I hosted the Gender Minorities Aotearoa community at my home where we gathered amongst a circle of drawings to talk, process and connect. On these somewhat snap-shot photos you see a vernacular wooden building by New Zealand architect Jacob Dench, which hosted the exhibition of drawings installed on wooded pedestles. The building is used as a social event pagoda, and is dubbed Te ware Toi, meaning House of Art or Art Gallery.

In 2018 to early 2019, I lived for three months in Wellington, New Zealand. Admidst the incredible landscape that this place offers, I began a series of drawings known as Trans Neolithic Future. They are grey stones drawn with graphite pencil, covered with green lichen made with marker pens. The drawings depict the standing stones and goddess figures that can be found in the European and Scandinavian landscape.

These playful works can best be seen as a personal interpretation of the various theories put forwards by archaeologists who propose that early European/Mediterranean societies were ruled by matriarchal systems, and that a lot of world history in interpreted mostly via the male-gaze, missing out on countless of "woman" led circles, ontologies and wisdoms. In sum, these drawings suggest an alternative Neolithic time/space that either has already happened or is perhaps still yet to come. Some of the later additions to the series play directly with the suggested danger of a climate apocalypse, by playing with symbols depicted on the rocks as screams from their carver, such as the Power Stone.

In these drawings, I wanted to reflect the impossibility of finding archeological remnants of tender, oratory, empathic and intimate interpersonal realities that were experienced amongst early age inhabitants of Europe. In truth most intimate and tender (queer) communities and experiences are lost in the onslaught of mainstream history. Through these drawings, I propose an imagined collective Neolithic landscape where gender and tenderness is experienced as a fluid and celebratory geography of specific and various zones, rather than a binary construct.

Audiences that came to the show were invited to note down suggestions for additional sacred stones representing gender minorities and diversity. The expanding sacred site represented in this series of drawings is not officially complete, but the last drawing was made in 2021.

More information on this series and a curatorial text by Padraic E. Moore can be found here.

It was one of the first times when I applied the idea of tattooing stone with symbols, and to play with animating the granite embodiment of the depicted shapes. I continued doing this in the extended series that I made after I returning to the Netherlands.

During the show a early performance video work was also presented.

  • Trans Neolithic Future was presented at Te Whare Toi, Wellington (NZ), Garage Rotterdam (NL), Museum IJsselstein (NL), IMPAKT Utrecht (NL), MU – Hybrid Art House (NL), Dat Bolwerck Zutphen (NL), Vishal Haalem (NL), Rupert Vilnius (LT) and Technical Museum of East Iceland in Seyðisfjörður (IS) between 2019 and 2024.
  • Trans Neolithic Future at Garage Rotterdam 2019.
  • Trans Neolithic Future at IMPAKT Utrecht 2020.
  • Works from this series are in private collections in Los Angeles and Amsterdam.
  • The series is part of the Re-Viving Matriarchy research.

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Thank you so much to the Koromiko Home: Chris, Kris, Andy and Jacob.

Thank you all the sweet people I met and wandered with.