For her Sigils series she takes a sentence, removes all vowels, all duplications and creates a symbol out of the remaining letters. In the olden days (earliest use of sigils dates to Babylonian time; a version of the itineration used by Spiess was incepted in the 19th century) those magical symbols were sown into clothing, kept on a piece of paper on the person, painted on weaponry etc. in order to bring forth said “spell” or protection. Spiess wears her sigils tattooed into her skin.
In order to bask in the light of said sigils, (like in folklore stories, one lays in the moon or sunlight to immerse oneself in the glow) the series of performances is accompanied by corresponding neons, roughly 80cm high. Each neon exists in both warm and cold white light, in reference to moon/sun light.
The artists will sleep in the light of the neons within the context of the junk yard, specifically the industrial washing machine used for car parts ready to be recycled.The performance will be documented by 6 photographer friends of the artist working in their specific medium of photography ( analoge, digital, polaroid, collaged, manipulated – fashion, documentary, fine art) Fiona Struengmann, Isabella Rudzki, Charlotte Troll, Jakob Ritzkat, Daniel Gitbud und Simon Lohmeyer as well as with disposable cameras which will be given to the audience.
“While we inhabit only the one body we are born with, it is subject to perpetual change and the exterior reflects the condition of the interior. Especially for female-read bodies in our society the way we present is tied to patriarchal ideas of ownership, youth and beauty. The sigils on my skin, corresponding with the neons stand for: “conditions are perfect” and “happily ever after” – the two ideals a human life is ideally striking a balance within. The “now” being what we got, and the often idealised “then” what we are striving for. To present this in the context of a male dominated environment: the recycling yard, in this rare instance: run by a women – to juxtapose the beauty of the sleeping female form with the dirt and roughness of the machinery around poses both a visual and contextual layer I thoroughly enjoy in combination with the Sigil series“
Anna Maja Spiess
EXHIBITIONS & RESIDENCES (selection)
2 7 0 0 0, 2023 solo at Heike Grossmann Art Advisory | Berlin
SEVEN MINUTES IN HEAVEN, 2022 group show curated by Marie-Therese Bruglacher | Berlin
MAKE SURE, 2020 Sound installation, floor painting | Tempelhof, Berlin
IN REGARD, 2020 Performance, installation and interactive website | As part of the series of public interventions “set” of the project “institutions extended” by curators Marina Naprushkina & Marie-Therese Bruglacher, Berlin
WIR TUN UNS SCHWER (. …), 2019| Tempelhof, Berlin
THE VISIT, 2019 | kKiosk Steinentor, Basel CH
WIEDERSEHEN, 2018 | Institut Français, München
SOMMER. FRISCHE.KUNST, 2018 | Artist in Residence | Bad Gastein
STAND BY ME, 2017 | Galerie der Künstler, München
ARTSY SALON 2017 | 401 Broadway, NYC, USA
RM BASICS – Day 3 at PUBLIC TOILETTE, SENDLINGER TOR | Il publico secreto III, 2016 public art installation, München
OPEN ART MUNICH 2016 | Susan Boutwell boutwelldrapergallery, Munich
ARTSY SALON 2016| 401 Broadway, NYC, USA