Boston Center for the Arts teams up with Boston LGBTQIA Artist Alliance for an evening of ritual and exploration.
Maria Molteni and Lacey Prpić Hedtke invite your participation in a DIY séance and communal selfie ritual, a contemporary adaptation based on 19th and 20th century sessions guided by Eva Carrière.
Carrière was a French medium on the fringes of Spiritualist performance and mediumship. Born Marthe Beraud, she transformed her identity to escape her reputation as a fraudulent medium and became one half of a successful, exhibitionistic queer partnership with Juliette Bisson. Inspired by their performances, which relied on ectoplasm to prove authenticity, we offer a space to conjure, contemplate and celebrate our own complex identities. Using traditional ectoplasm recipes, we encourage participants to fashion personalized ectoplasmic sculptures that might reveal or channel the multifaceted identity of its maker.
Ectoplasm is a malleable white substance, usually made from household items such as flour and egg white bound to a fibrous netting. It is known to be a physical manifestation of the one’s own spirit, or another possessing spirit, "exteriorized" when it emerges from the mouth or other bodily orifice. It may also channel other beings, incorporating features such as printed portraiture or the ability to blanket an unseen bodily contour.
This two-part sculpture and instant snapshot Selfie-building ritual will give form to a somewhat humorous but pertinent double-entendre as it relates an extroverted culture of sharing and searching for deeper understanding of identity. Witnesses will conclude the workshop by developing their portraits into wearable protective talismans.
*materials used to created ectoplasm sculptures will be vegan
Past/General iterations of the project + collaborators: Maria Molteni and collaborators such as Bathaus, Dead Art Star and Lacey Prpić Hedtke have held DIY séance re-stagings, both in private and as public workshops, based on sessions guided by Helen Duncan, the last person imprisoned under the witchcraft act of 1735, and other marginalized historic figures. Using Duncan’s own home-made ectoplasm recipes, scandalously revealed when she was investigated for scamming followers with false witchcraft, we encourage participants to fashion personalized ectoplasmic sculptures out of house-hold items that might reveal or channel such multifaceted identities. Bearing emergent paranormal "selfies" on their persons, participants document such spectacle via photographic Selfies.