BLOOD ON MY SHOULDERS
A performative reflection on the unaesthetic aesthetics of being
Long before the emergence of monotheistic religions, blood was considered to be a medium of vitality often equated with life or even the soul. Innumerable blood cults arose, which attached an expiatory and purifying significance to the shedding of blood by those outside the tribe. In contrast, the shedding of a neighbour’s blood was widely frowned upon and socially sanctioned.
Even in the later materialistic ideologies of the 19th and 20th century, the archaic purification rituals persisted – only romantically transfigured or justified by the supposed superiority of one’s own kind – the interpretations of which even today repeatedly crack the mask of western civilizations.
Based on his extreme experiences in various armed conflicts, in which he participated as a volunteer soldier alongside liberation movements in Africa and the Middle East, John Herman deals with those archaic rituals, their contemporary manifestations and the resulting victim-perpetrator-victim relationships in the performance „BLOOD ON MY SHOULDERS„.
Using the stylistic medium of digital voyeuristic confrontation, the Cologne-based artist and arts activist challenges the supposed luxury of individual-social indolence in the face of local or global events and leaves it to the digital audience to find performative answers to questions about individual responsibilities in the charged relationship between micro-, meso- and macro-levels.
5. März 2021