The first-generation congregation needs to resist secularized tendency.
Though, they don’t wish to be isolated from the rest of the people,
because that’s not God’s will.
There is always a voice calling on them:
“to be among them…”
Christianity. It concerns the ways in which dualistic monotheism interact with indigenous animistic belief, and with the localized forms of worship that developed within Protestantism. Spanning three generations of religious ideas, the narrative does not bound by its linear and epic nature, it forces us to witness other dimensions beyond the settlers and the natives: changing landforms, re-organized crops, the process of domestication, and so on.
In this semi-fictional essay film, the sources are taken from the records of Xinjiang Construction Corps’ production practices at the May Day Pasture from 1954 to 1964, as well as news photography and performance documentations from 1950s to 1980s. In the film, the three generations of sheep are analogies of the migratory (colonial) life of Christians, in which the separate dreams between generations bespoken numerous contradictions. I speak both the outsider’s and the insider’s perspective when narrating the story, provoking the contextual crack between the Christians and the world around them.
Dreams are like this:
just as you arrive at the climax of the story,
where you start to peruse the symbolic meaning of these images,
you’d wake up suddenly,
leaving you a fragmented image in mind.
As the gentle morning light shines to announce the arrival of day,
this memory gradually fades away.
In the opening scene of Mouthless Part I (2020), the performers sit or recline, reading on their phones. It feels like a queered version of the ordinary activities of Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė’s Young Girl Reading Group, which holds weekly gatherings centered on feminist-inspired theory and fiction or writings about cybernetics and nature. The main narrative of the film is almost entirely comprised of extensive quotations borrowed from their reading group, such that it is somewhat reminiscent of experimental novels made up of footnotes. At times, the camera pans to the performers’ vampire make-up, which brings to mind Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, a popular book among theory enthusiasts. Yes, reading Adam Mickiewicz’s poetic drama Dziady in unison has the feeling of a religious ritual, but queer theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s theoretical reflection on paranoid reading is similarly hypnotic. Next, they read fantastical texts about forests and trees. Their conjuring spells employ fragments of Donna Haraway’s writing about technologically enhanced primate vision. Here, the film cuts between various micro-organisms in a flow of shape-morphing post-production effects. In this series of indoor reading scenes, these cryptic performances consist of “reading, conjuring and haunting,” thereby bringing reading and ritual incantations infinitely closer to one another. While their grotesque style of reading responds to the upswell in theory now happening in contemporary art, another aspect of Gawęda and Kulbokaitė’s twists on these feminist texts lies in the juxtaposition of elements such as Silvia Federici’s surveys of witch hunts as early capital accumulation and Eastern European folklore in which witchcraft persists.
In this instance, the indigenous film collective’s practice and the indigenous knowledge of Bamayak and Mabaluk prompted Povinelli to trace her own folk knowledge to Carisolo and its connection to religious wars. Here, the profound connection that lies beyond a superficial coincidence in the folk narratives of the Temahahoi an
arxism, which is largely devoid of a feminist aspect. In contrast, one of the motivations for Part I is a potential connection between European witches and ecological (indigenous) knowledge. One of the characters in Mouthless, Ghost 2, is a historical figure named Barbli Bodmer of Wattenwyl that they found in the Fribourg Archives. We later discover that a reading of the original archival documents in the film (19’56”-23’56”) describes Bodmer admitting to fornication with the Devil in the forest and causing illness in humans and animals. The words are paired with images of an ever-changing, shape-shifting primeval forest, which gives the impression that some indistinct object is haunting the landscape in the AI-generated shadows. If we are to temporarily give the parlor game in Part I a name, i
In the opening scene of Mouthless Part I (2020), the performers sit or recline, reading on their phones. It feels like a queered version of the ordinary activities of Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė’s Young Girl Reading Group, which holds weekly gatherings
The title of this issue “Spring Mud Metabolism” was extracted from the most famous passage in reformer Kung Tzu-chen’s writing on the “returning to seclusion” (guiyin) genre in classical Chinese literature. While his apocalyptic poetry series certainly prefigured the subsequent transformation of China, in the above quote, the scholar-official transvalued his career disappointment (fallen flowers) into an aspirational facilitator of an enriched educational environment (spring mud). It is the metabolic aspect beyond the material (flowers) and the spiritual (not heartless) that this issue of COMPOST would like to further investigate through the four contributions introduced below.
民俗知识（FK）的讨论近来越发成为人类世年代下的批判性思维之重要启发。在定居殖民主义国家的学术圈中，同样的主题则往往被称作原民知识（IK）。在民俗知识与原民知识的缝隙中，我想进一步将Gawęda与Kulbokaitė的实践看作是超越移住民/原住民二分法的一个特例。先来看看一个与之平行的案例，同样是民俗知识遭遇原民知识的时刻：卡拉宾电影小组成员之间的对话，澳大利亚的原住民成员Rex Edmunds谈到他如何捡起祖先知识，而作为回应，Elizabeth A. Povinelli则提起她追寻自己的欧洲祖先在意北卡里索洛（Carisolo）的部落：