3-channel video Installation about the desire to have children, reproductive rights, technologies and visions of the future – told in 3 time levels: before, during and after the pandemic.
We follow 3 intimate and at the same time surreal video portraits of women* about the desire to have children, reproductive rights, technologies and visions of the future – told in 3 time levels: before, during and after the pandemic. The live filmed choreography was later inserted into an animated environment. For this purpose 3 worlds were created that resemble hermetospheres. These closed vessels that are used for the cultivation of plants, function as a symbol for protection with simultaneous isolation and refer to reproductive medicine and the feasibility of life.
English Translation of Voice-Over:
This is Marie. Marie loves water lilies. Almost- erotically. But she doesn’t own a garden- just a few strawberries on a window sill. So she has built herself a little ecosystem. A ‚hermetosphere‘. Her own small Mary garden. With a water lily pond. Marie has an ambivalent relationship to the Blessed Mother Mary- not unlike the relationship to her own mother- but she likes these ‚enclosed gardens’ in which the virgin just waits among roses and strawberries to ‚conceive‘- immaculately and without further ado. Marie would also like to ‚conceive‘ without further ado- but how is that to happen- immaculately and untouched- during lockdown? You shall keep your distance to other people- at least 1.5 meters (or the length of a pony.) If only she could be a water lily. Like any other lily in the pond. Male and female at once. First all white and female then all pink and male. Finally not binary. No more need for other humans, just connected with beetles and plants. The beetles just enter her attracted by her sweet smell and then- she releases them again, retreats to the bottom of the pond and lays her eggs into the mud. Did you know that the ovaries of water lilies look pretty much like ours?
This is Eve. Eve has ‚social egg freezed‘ 19 oocytes. An infinitely small and infinitely pricey amount of small gambles on post-covid futures- which she cant afford at all. Eve was born with all the egg cells she will ever hold in her life. A seemingly infinite amount of 7 million had reduced to 2 million already by the time of her birth. When Eve reached puberty she still had 400 000 egg cells ready to be released. What would all those oocytes have come to in market value? Didn’t her mother always warn her not to flush her money down the toilet but keep the lid tightly shut at all times? This is actually Feng Shui but Eve definitely sees how with all that blood also wealth and fame goes down the drain. Eggs ARE the diamonds of the reproduction industry and the global reproductive trade is expected to hit 14.6 billion US$ by 2027- and that was before Covid. Eve has an idea. She wants to start a business which will empower all women* to increase their wealth by oocyte investing. A form of cryocurrency. Why should others reap the benefits? Against the feminization of poverty. Eggs beat Covid. She wants to call it that. And she hopes very much that the virus won’t survive the freezing process.
This is Vi. Vi is becoming a mother. Vi doesn’t identify as male or female but as Vi has a womb and is the birthing mother we refer to ‚her‘ as ‚she‘. As whoever gives birth to a child is ‚the mother‘ of the child- that’s the law in Germany. Regardless of how ‚the mother‘ defines ‚herself‘. Surrogacy is therefore illegal, as is egg donation-by the way- even if it doesn’t make much sense. But Vi is in luck. Vi lives in a post-covid world. The protected line of special cells which alone were able to create new life and new germ cells has been lifted. Every cell can be anything now- be it egg cell or spermium. And Lily developed from a skin cell. Even though we can’t see Lily yet we have named the embryo ‚Lily‘- after the giant water lily in the first story. This plant is very rare in our fields and has to be nurtured carefully over several months in a special growing pond before it can be transferred. For this video we could not get a real giant water lily as the fear was it would die in the process. But we built this hermetosphere, a self-sustaining ecosystem in which ‚Lily‘ just needs light (and water) to grow. It perfectly protects her. It is a bit isolating but that doesn’t harm Lily. In the post-covid world a paradise of lilies is awaiting her. First all white and female then all pink and male. Finally not binary. Fully connected with plants and herself. Marie’s dream has come true.
By Fanny Hagmeier & Leonie Kubigsteltig
Performance: Laura Hicks
Animation: Ryan Cherewaty
Sound Design: Louisa Beck
Styling: Barbara Klingler
Set Design: Rudy Hagmeier
PA: Pola Sell
Make-Up: Alyssa Lewandowski
Great Thanks to: Linus König & Landungsbrücken Frankfurt
Funded by: Frankfurter Stiftung maecenia & Kulturstiftung Hessen 2021