my new work ‘elixir’


This work explores Feminine Power.

A sigil was created by the artist and then copied onto a ghost image note.

The sigil was placed under a glass jar, where a tiger eye gemstone was charged with feminine power of the artist. A video was made, but at the point of charging the stone, a glitch froze the video, so none of the actual gnosis was captured on video.

The photos that were taken came out normally, although the video appeared altered.

No editing was done to the visual appearance of this video.

This was the process of the whole ritual:

A sigil was created symbolizing female power.

Tiger eye gemstone was charged (but not successfully documented) by the artist and then used to make an elixir.

After consuming drops from the elixir, the artist will meditate until a gnostic state lying down with four tiger eye stones. One under each palm, one on the third eye and the last one in the sacred hollow between her legs.

The sigil will also be charged during this time, by rubbing body fluids on the sigil and activating it by orgasm.

The gemstone and the sigil will be the artifacts for sale.

Below is the first part of the video performance and some photos taken during the process.

Below the initial video file. The whole performance was 4:21 min and only 1:03 min could be captured.

embodied spaces at framer framed

Framer Framed is pleased to announce Embodied Spaces, an exhibition curated by Christine Eyene, featuring works by Delaine Le Bas (United Kingdom), Jeannette Ehlers (Trinidad/Denmark), Cecilia Ferreira (South Africa), Lisa Hilli (Papua New Guinea/Australia), Evan Ifekoya (Nigeria/United Kingdom), Hélène Jayet (Mali/France), Patricia Kaersenhout (Netherlands), Euridice Kala (Mozambique/South Africa), Shigeyuki Kihara (Samoa/New Zealand), Ope Lori (United Kingdom), Susan Walsh (United Kingdom) and Alberta Whittle (Barbados/South Africa).

In this exhibition, Eyene continues an on-going dialogue with women and queer artists addressing the body, sexuality, gender, Black and Romani cultural identities in their work.

Consisting predominantly of works of a personal or intimate nature, the project takes on a double approach, engaging with the idea that ‘the personal is political’ – as attributed to feminist artist Carol Hanisch in the late 1960s – and extending this assertion to the notion that the political belongs in the public sphere. The concept also draws from the notion of ‘non-places’ defined by French anthropologist Marc Augé in Non-Lieux: Introduction à une Anthropologie de la Surmodernité (1992) who reflected on public places that hold no significance other than infrastructural, places of passing, of transience. Temporarily experienced, these spaces are also the location of parallel forms of existence and creativity.

Embodied Spaces seeks to make analogies between ‘non-places’ and marginalised or underground cultural productions, echoing Framer Framed’s commitment to challenge a Eurocentric, normative, canonic vision of contemporary art and culture. The exhibition will engage with the context and structure of the Tolhuistuin. Art pieces will also be placed in non-art-dedicated spaces within the venue, creating links between their content and location.

Embodied Spaces follows from previous editorial and curatorial projects involving women artists from Africa and the diaspora, notably Women Speak Out (Galerie Le Manège, Dakar, 2011; Fondation Blachère residency in Douala and exhibition in Apt, 2014-2015), and WHERE WE’RE AT! Other Voices on Gender (Bozar, Brussels, 2014).

Alongside the exhibitions are planned a series of public events which will be announced soon.

“Belle” in the Eastern Cape

My video “Belle” was on show at the ARTEC gallery as part of “Celebrating women artists of the Eastern Cape” in February. It is now travelling to Grahamstown for the duration of the Sci festival. It was great seeing people react to the video during the opening of the exhibition at ARTEC. I am very pleased to be able to show to the Port Elizabeth public, most of my videos have only shown abroad.IMG_0309

tiresias by heather cassils

Tiresias is a four to five hour durational performance. Tiresias is a mythological figure, the blind prophet of Thebes who is famous for being transformed from a man into a woman for seven years. During the live performance, Cassils’s body is pressed up against the back of a neoclassical Greek male torso carved out of ice for precise contact with the artist’s physique. Cassils melts the ice sculpture with pure body heat, demonstrating the instability of the body and our desire for a certain unsustainable physique. Recasting the myth of Tiresias as a story of endurance and transformation, Cassils performs the resolve required to persist at the point of contact between masculine and feminine.anti-12-cassils-034-w 24heathercassils2010teresiasicssculpture-w-2 27heathercassils2010teresiasdetail-w-2 20130619_Cassils_0334-1-w 20130619_Cassils_0519-w anti-12-cassils-030-w

transformations, 2014

Transformations takes a look at female alteration; a challenging juggle between the comfort of domesticity and the sexual platform. Music from “Debbie does Dallas”, 1978. Some of the setting reminiscent of Martha Rosler’s ‘Semiotics of the kitchen’.

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eye on digital art from africa

Reblogged from Design Indaba.

Curator Christine Eyene tells us about her selection of experimental artists from Africa whose work was part of London’s recent “Africa Utopia” festival.


Independent curator Christine Eyene co-curated Dak’art in Dakar, Senegal, in 2012cecilia-ferreira

A frame from Cecilia Ferreira’s “Belle” video

Part of the exhibition “Digital Africa: The Future is Now” at the Africa Utopia festival, London’s Southbank

Part of the exhibition “Digital Africa: The Future is Now” at the Africa Utopia festival, London’s Southbank Centre.

For three days at London’s Southbank Centre, the exhibition Digital Africa: The Future is Now featured the work of seven artists whose video pieces and sound art highlighted the experimental nature of new wave African and African diasporic visual art.

Conceived as part of the annual Africa Utopia festival of art and ideas, Digital Africa was curated by Paris-born Christine Eyene, who co-curated the Dak’Art biennale of contemporary African art in 2012.

Eyene is a Guild Research Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire, where she is contributing to Making Histories Visible, an interdisciplinary visual art research project. Although her research and curatorial work has centred on contemporary South African art since the late 1990s (including exhibitions on the photography of Gideon Mendel and George Hallett), Eyene possesses a broad vision of African arts and culture. Over the years, she has been involved in artistic shows at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, Art Basel and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. Her current project,Basket Case II – co-curated with Raphael Chikukwa, chief curator of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe – pairs Zimbabwean basket weavers with a diverse roster of prominent international artists and designers for workshops and an exhibition in Zimbabwe later this year.

The informal, pop-up style of the Digital Africa exhibition at the Southbank provided Eyene with an opportunity to explore different ways to present digital art for a wide range of audiences.

As a Londoner and a frequent visitor to the Southbank Centre myself, I had a sense of the diversity of audiences those venues attract – from families to break-dancers and, of course, a wide range of culture lovers, says Eyene.

She selected diverse work by a geographically and generationally diverse range of artists from Mali, South Africa, Rwanda, Ghana, Morocco, Mauritius, London and Belgium. All use digitally produced video or sound recordings as their medium of choice.

In South African artist Cecilia Ferreira’s tragicomic video piece, “Belle”, she uses her own face as a blank canvas that ends in a vision of disfigured beauty as layers of make-up are added to show the pressure put on women to conform to ideals of beauty. Eyene has also chosen Ferreira’s work for her upcoming La Parole aux Femmes (Women Speak Out) project at France’s Fondation Blachere, continuing her academic research into the narratives around the female body.

“Alter” by Laura Nsengiyumva, a Rwandan artist living in Belgium, unpicks the ambiguous interaction between a pupil and a teacher. The touching of the student’s hair or patting of the head is seen as affectionate for one but condescending for the other.

Another piece, “1994”, takes a nuanced look at the genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. Rather than showing the violence itself, the video shows a young Rwandan family sitting on a couch watching news coverage of the genocide on TV. The piece “is more about exile than the family themselves,” says Nsengiyumva.

Now 27, she was six years old at the time of the conflict. She is representing the Rwandan diaspora in Belgium and beyond as part of a young generation of digitally influenced artists.

It’s really a story about the community and how we saw the Rwandan war in this country through the media, she explains.

Her experience of the event is twice removed – by exile and by the media.

“My parents were the first generation that came for their studies as part of an intellectual diaspora,” she explains. “Then there was the second flow of people coming because of the genocide.”

“Kattu Bateau” by Em’Kal Eyongakpa, a sound artist from Cameroon, is “a rhythmic play on noise, words and repetitions” recorded by the artist in Cameroon’s capital between 2009 and 2012. The sound installation features excerpts from the multilayered pieceStates[s] project.

In “Tout le Mond s’appelle Mohamed” (“The whole world is called Mohamed”) by Moroccan multidisciplinary artist Younes Baba-Ali, a sudden and abrupt voice calls out the name “Mohamed”. A playful piece by the Belgium-based Baba-Ali, its main purpose was to engage visitors to respond with an almost involuntary reaction.

The piece functioned well “as a disruptive sonic element,” says Eyene.

I observed some people being puzzled by where this intermittent call was coming from by turning their heads toward the source.

But surely, things would play slightly differently in a Gallic context? “Yes,” Eyene agrees. “In France, there’s a large North African community. In the 30 years I lived in Paris since childhood, I always had among my friends at least one who was called Mohamed (or Momo). So, a piece like this presented in Paris, Lyon or Marseille would speak to a good number of passersby. It would also be an important piece in relation to France’s history in North Africa, colonisation and North African people’s liberation, notably in Algeria. One would also wonder how many Mohameds you’d find in a gallery space…”

As an experimental display specifically conceived for the Africa Utopia festival, there are no plans to tour Digital Africa. However, even as a one-off project, there’s strength in the fact that the exhibition shared nearby floor space with a separate, capsule display of Black Chronicles II, an exhibition of portrait photographs taken by the London Stereoscopic Company of the African Native Choir, who toured Britain in 1891-93, shown here publicly for the first time.

This symbolic meeting of the past, present and future of African art and artists seems to represent the huge journey that diasporic African stories have taken, with more and more exciting examples of the aesthetic gaze coming from the eyes of the highly creative, digitally informed subjects themselves.

domestic diaries: ‘throne’ and ‘cleaning up’

In order to get my cleaning done, I often put on DVD’s for my daughters to watch. It keeps them busy and makes the process of domestics in the home much easier. ‘Domestic Goddess’ is a play on the Disney movies they watch, using props like crowns and magic wands my daughters play with. I also use a dress I made out of black rubbish bags. It’s also a play on ‘the throne’ which is often used as reference to a toilet. Using urination in my work is not a novelty, it somehow connects me with the primal force which spark my work to begin with.

In ‘Cleaning up’ I explore keeping ‘beautiful’ in conjunction with dishes. It focuses on the female having to shave and ‘clean up nicely’ in order to be perceived as ‘nice’ through the eyes of patriarchal ideals.

It also plays with the idea of being consumed, or being associated with being delicious, then dirty. Once again I place the performances opposite to fairy tales, watched daily by my daughters. 


on video editing

Lately, my videos attract the attention of curators.

I use the most basic of programs, Windows Movie Maker. Yes. Windows Movie Maker. I know. It’s what kids use when they are learning the basics.

Last night, when I was editing a video with this program, I told someone how frustrated I am with my limiting video editing tools. I should upgrade, I should really start taking my videos to another level.

However, what if the magic in my videos lies exactly in the fact that it is so basic and raw? What if, the day I end up with some fancy editing tools, I stop projecting my imagery with something unidentifiable which it contains now?

I was moved by the idea that ‘holding back’, or being limited, can be in fact showing more, or projecting better, because limitations never crossed my mind as a liberating, or widening factor.

black-bird-10 Still from Black Bird, 2011, 1:19 min.


In 1975, Schneemann performed Interior Scroll, a Fluxus-influenced piece featuring her use of text and body. In her performance, Schneemann entered wrapped in a sheet, under which she wore an apron. She disrobed and then got on a table where she outlined her body with dark paint. Several times, she would take “action poses”, similar to those in figure drawing classes. Concurrently, she read from her book Cézanne, She Was a Great Painter. Following this, she dropped the book and slowly extracted from her vagina a scroll from which she read. Schneemann’s feminist scroll speech, according to performance theorist Jeanie Forte, made it seem as if “[Schneemann]’s vagina itself is reporting […] sexism”. Art critic Robert C. Morgan states that it is necessary to acknowledge the period during which Interior Scroll was produced in order to understand it. He argues that by placing the source of artistic creativity at the female genitals, Schneemann is changing the masculine overtones of minimalist art and conceptual art into a feminist exploration of her body. Interior Scroll, along with Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, helped pioneer many of the ideas later popularized by the off-broadway show The Vagina Monologues.


I’m Super excited about my video, The Chaos Within, that is going to be part of an exhibition opening tonight in London organized by curator Christine Eyene. This video was my very first video experiment and I’m thinking back to a time of my life when I found myself in a world of turmoil, due to the stillbirth of our baby girl, Gabrielle.

I find so much healing power in performance art and this was my first experiment. It really helped me get somewhere in the long road leading to getting over the tragedy and pain of losing her. I often analyse my performance and try to theoretically lay it out, but I find this a very hard process: going from a spontaneous reaction such as a performance and taking it to the opposite side/pole by rationally trying to lay it all out and ‘ explain’ it.

Once, when I was still blogging on Aryan Kaganof’s blog, he said that my urge to destroy my art might be a subconscious urge to commit suicide. I thought (and still think) this notion is ridiculous, since I don’t have a single suicidal bone in my body. However, this got my thinking and I do think it is all about trying to start over, or creating a rebirth. In The Chaos within, I slash up one of my self portraits, burn it and then urinate on it.

I am still in the possession of pieces of burnt canvas which remained after the performance.



serial attempts

You are invited to the opening of:


curated by Christine Eyene

News of the world
open every Friday and Saturday, 12 to 6pm

on Friday, 25th January 2013, 6 to 9pm, in the presence of Christine Eyene, Cristiano Berti and Pelagie Gbaguidi. The exhibition runs through March 2013.

Serial Attempts is the first presentation of ‘process: immaterial proposal’, an ongoing curatorial research project consisting of an evolving assembling of images, texts, and sound pieces focusing on concepts, studies and works-in-progress.

The project reflects on the space between the artist’s intention and the finished artwork by looking at fragments of the creative process. The title of this exhibition ‘serial attempts’ draws from an expression used by Professor Hans Belting in the introductory chapter of The Invisible Masterpiece (1998, transl. 2001) in which he discusses unrealisable aspirations in art. Three artists have been selected for this showcase Cristiano Berti ( Italy ), Cecilia Ferreira (Mozambique/South Africa) and Pelagie Gbaguidi (Benin/Belgium), each represented by one piece or body of work.

Berti’s sound installation Happy (2004) is a work begun in 2002 that initially comprised of a video and photographic ‘mapping’ of Happy’s body. Berti, however, chooses to remove the photographic evidence and only displays the protagonist’s voice recorded in studio in December 2004. Happy is heard narrating the story behind the scars marking her skin, in Edo, one of Nigeria ’s languages. The public is led to draw on their senses to reconstruct the shapes and depths of the scars and imagine the tactility of the skin while being immersed in the musicality of a foreign language.

Cecilia Ferreira’s The Chaos Within (2009) is the artist’s first video-experiment. Filmed with a webcam, the piece presents the successive stages of creation of the artist’s self-portrait, leading to the destruction and desecration of both the artwork and her own image as part of the creative process.

Gbaguidi’s series Conciliabule (2003-2006) is shown here as images from her notebooks. Eight ‘captures’ have been selected to reveal the artist’s thoughts through annotations and sketches seemingly jotted as spontaneous creative impulses. This body of work, first presented alongside the artist’s notebooks in the exhibition ‘En Toute Innocence’, Galerie Imane Fares, Paris (2011), gave the impetus to ‘process: immaterial proposal’ which object is to apprehend art, notably produced by African artists, beyond fixed narratives, representations, and identities.

Christine Eyene, January 2013

Serial Attempts is organised in collaboration with Making Histories Visible.

Further information, links and images:

Contact: Pierre Coinde / Gary O’Dwyer. Text: 07851 318 230 Email:

moon and flying snow

Beautiful fight scene between Moon (Zhang Ziyi) and Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung) in the yellow forest from the extended version of the movie “Hero”

Hero was first released in China on October 24, 2002. At that time, it was the most expensive project and the highest-grossing motion picture in Chinese film history.


My artistic process depends almost entirely on the relationship I have with the internet.I have been exhibiting my work online for six years. Considering myself an “Internet Diarist”, I post mostly autobiographical portrayals and confessional imagery for an online audience. The works are meant to be intimate peaks into my personal feminine day to day experiences. My work allows me to play around with an online persona and the idea of an alter ego. The immediacy of online exposure sets fire to quick bursts of mostly photographic experimentations.For any work of mine to come to a rapid full circle I need to conceptualize, create, upload, archive and expose online. The final action is often deletion of the image or denying public access by “erasing” the work.

the Chaos within reflects on how my self-portraiture becomes reliant on the persona or alter ego and cracking or detonating it time and again serves as an integral part of my creative process. I find meaning in the co-dependent relationship between creation and destruction, virtual reality being the
perfect platform for this process. ´the Chaos within´ was my first video-experiment, filmed with a webcam in 2009. It was a process consisting out of:

– An acrylic self portrait painting

– A performance

– A video

– The remains of the above, framed

© cecilia ferreira