Tales of Witches
‘Tales of Witches’ existed as a series of performative readings that revolved around contemporary reinterpretations of the witch’s figure. In collaboration with Roselinde Bon, AnnaMaria Pinaka, and Jade Mandrake, a publication materialized based on each woman’s specific connection to the witch. Together we performed these texts as readings over the course of the three day-exhibition. The readings took place in the board room of society ‘De Vereeniging,’ devoted to its (solely male) board members and called the ‘Heerenkamer’ (gentlemen’s room in Dutch). Portraits of board members on which not a single woman appears covered the walls of this space.
‘Tales of Witches’ intended to infiltrate the ‘Herenkamer,’ contaminate it with our feminine presence, and evoke those outsider women who were once labeled witches due to their self-governed healing practices, autonomy over their sexuality, or knowledge of and interest in herbal medicine.
It aimed further to interweave historical and contemporary misogynist narratives. Such as the contemporary phenomenon in which the videos of (female) ASMRtists are reported for sexual content by 8chan trolls, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the accusations of sexual misconduct that witches were subjected to – we are still afraid of a female voice.
During the exhibition, the ‘Heerenkamer’ was filled with the smell of burned cedar and rosemary oil, which, together with a recording of our essays, invaded the space in our absence.