Seeing Stars

For this phase of the Goddess Project entitled The Goddess Constellations i decided to portray the something rather abstract yet meaningful- the hour of death and transcendence.

This work marks a moment in time and space and is essentially a map of the sky above the city of Paris (see the extensive constellations diagram in this Diary posting). Josephine Baker dies in hospital at 5am on the 12th of April 1975, a moment of destiny that in ancient astronomy would be as significant as the hour of birth. Each star is impregnated with an image of Josephine Baker, as if to imply her transcendent return to the cosmos.

I am aware and welcome the abstract nature of the work, though i would argue that in a former time humans were extremely aware of the sky, the stars and awesome sense of the universal potential that lay within it.

The physical installation took me a bit less than a week in the gallery spaces of the NGBK in Berlin. Fortunately I had been well organized about as many aspects of this projects construction as possible. The velvet (the tone of the color, its edges, the transfer of some nearly 750 points), the support mechanisms for the fabric and each of the pins, the delineation into small / medium / large stars as perceived from the earth, the complex arguments to fabricate the tools needed to create each coin-like metal star.

This has turned out to be one of the most surprisingly photogenic projects. Surprising in the sense that a photo can easily collapse the visual spatiality we experience with the naked eye. During the opening it became a rather amusing and insightful exercise to have the visitors take self portraits with the oculus of stars. This seemingly magical experience reaffirms for me the mixture between myth and science that in part underpins the larger Goddess Project