CIRCLE OF WOMEN

A universal holy principle of the supernatural powers and a symbol of the endless flow of time, the women in the past used the circle to assemble and learn to honor each other and live in harmony with nature and in tune with their own emotions. With the passing of time into the modern age, women have forgotten about this meaning of the circle, and have lost their powers. Every woman included in Bilyana's performance represents herself, but also her female ancestors and every woman who lived, lives and will live. She represents the Mother Nature and the Mother Earth, and the eternal cycle of life and death, embodied in the Mother Goddess.

Such a spiritual belief focusing on the female goddess has been recognized in art since the 1970s, and it used the performance art as its main vehicle, becoming more pronounced with the coming of the second wave of feminism and offering an alternative to the mainstream religious, historical and artistic models molded on patriarchal values. It promoted the idea of the integral value of women, of the regenerative powers of the feminine, gravely crippled throughout history. But it also dug deeper into the more profound experiences of the being, into its relationship with the world and itself, as demonstrated in the works of the American artist Mary Beth Edelson, one of the pioneers of the feminist art movement.

Similarly, using the powerful medium of the performance art in a space richly steeped in layers of history, against the background of the long lost feminine language of solidarity, coupled with the deeply-felt belief in the liberation of the female energy, Bilyana Cincarević will bring togather 24 women in a circle, or sisters, as she calls them, to help the artist in her calling upon the primary energy associated with the female deity. Number “24” is symbolically also called the "Mystery of Unity" given its supernatural ability of erasing all the negative traits that lead to the divisions among the people. And as they release their voices, women become free of their repressed past emotions, not only their own but also those coded into their genes, a burden on their shoulders, and their own fear, suffering and pain. Thus the circle becomes the place of healing, setting in motion the ritual as the natural tool of transformation, rising from the isolated individual consciousness into the collective experience.

Nataša Parezanović, curator