Mis(s)appropriation. Eglė, Queen of the Grass Snakes, 2017
“Eglė, Queen of the Grass Snakes”* is tale about personal, social and magical transformations. It is a story of losing home, encounters with strangers, love and betrayal, death and ever-green life, which continues with every fir tree (eglė in Lithuanian). The keyword of this mythic tale is transgression. Transgression of social order, human and animal body, sacral and mundane spheres.
Three layers of narrative intertwine in the work by Cooltūristės based on the tale. First is the journey of the tale itself, originating from India and travelling to Lithuania through Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Second is the passages of Eglė – from the land to the sea, from human body to the fir tree. Third is the fatal destiny of Salomėja Nėris*, author of the poem “Eglė, Queen of the Serpents” (1940). The poem could be read as prophetic text about betrayal, war and migration. Cooltūristės also question the portraying of women as traitors and scapegoats both in tale and in history.
Invoking local public monuments and trees culled from fairy tales, virtual and material transformations take place as Eglė’s story intertwines with Salomėja’s exile.
Nida Art Colony http://nidacolony.lt/en/exhibitions/when-the-sea-looks-back-a-serpent-s-tale-2017-07-16-08-27
DISTRICT Berlin http://www.district-berlin.com/detail_full.php?categorie_id=19&article_id=296&lang=en&img_id=0
Eglė Mikalajūnė: Apie daugiagalvės Hidros ir Eglės žalčių karalienės giminystę: paroda „Žalčio pasaka. Jūros veidrodis“
Performative excursion with virtual elements
Photography: Emma Haugh