CAMBRIDGE PERFORMANCE PAINTING: RESURRECTING MARGARET FULLER
After resurrecting Fuller’s “Conversations,” by tracing her philosophy of the “sacred marriage” back to antiquity and up through the 21st century, we closed the exhibition with Cambridge Performance Painting: Margaret Fuller Resurrected. This performance by Mark Wiener and Michael Manning was transmitted through cyberspace through a live feed on ustream.com.
After I drew the symbols for the planetary energies ruling the performance within the salt circle, I called in the spirits of the four directions and stated my intention, to have Fuller’s words enter the collective consciousness in the spirit with which they were created. I then proceeded to read Fuller’s alchemical poetry interwoven with the Sumerian hymn “The Sacred Marriage Rites.” The painting began with Wiener making marks in rhythm with my
reading, followed by Manning’s writing a brief biography of Fuller across the marked canvas.
The gestures took form with a bright red portrait of Fuller, which was then removed from the wall and turned upside-down (expressing through gesture the author’s “willful descent” into the underworld).
After they further worked the image,I pointed out – to the surprise of the creators – a bright blue penis.
By crossing disciplines in a new century characterized by live global transmission, painting itself became a shamanic discipline. The spirit of Margaret Fuller conjured on her bicentennial birthday took form on canvas, then made a conscious descent into the collective unconscious (Manning explained later that he removed the portrait because they had become too attached to the image), and emerged again as a hermaphrodite – a contemporary reflection of Lucifer, the Morning Star!
This process led the gallery owner, John Wronoski, to recall Edgar Allen Poe’s pronouncement: “Humanity is divided into men,women and Margaret Fuller.”
Ultimately, the performers came up with two works, revealing Margaret, the hermaphrodite with her twin.
…and back to New York!
“Woman in the 21st Century: Margaret Fuller and the Sacred Marriage” at HP Garcia Gallery, NYC, August 4 – 21, 2010
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