H E R O I N E S

enclosed garden
where my fears and desires
fill my cornucopia
of flowers

HEROINES is a non-profit, non-governmental platform founded in 2019 by a collective of self made women from different countries and artistic backgrounds. Each year, artists and cultural managers create a radical innovate project that aims to create about female intimacy in places where the topic is still taboo. We strive to engage in collaborative, multidisciplinary practices in order to open a discussion, stimulate future imaginaries, and overcome societal issues related to female intimacy.

HEROINES creates every year a nomadic exhibition called The Enclosed Garden which journeys into the female psyche. This project creates an experience for the audience as much as a a deep healing process for the participants.

HEROINES proposes a residency program for female artists who bridge disciplines in their practices: visual artists, musicians and singers, poets, writers, film makers, painters, sculptors, graphic designers, map makers, performers of all kinds are invited to enrich the collective field of knowledge. Through mutual learning and exchange, we will enter a psychological journey into the female psyche, and interrogate together the social and ontological resonances of intimacy in contemporary society.

During the residency retreat, we operate as a circle that breaks down discipline boundaries and focuses on sharing. To create art, we must let go of our preconceived notions about artistic work, and accept that we will both learn by doing and do it together (DIT). This methodology is inspired from the Bauhaus school’s concept of interdisciplinary creation, and aims to empower intuitive cognition and emotional connexion. Through listening, artists coming from different cultures initiate a powerful new artistic movement with common values to defend. HEROINES nourishes a form of empowerment: the ability to give oneself the power to do something, the ability to give oneself love, the ability to be fully embodied.

The HEROINES residency program provides a supporting environment for every year in the selected target country (2019: Georgia 2020: Thailand). The residency covers travel expenses, accommodation and perdiems. We provide a workspace and an exhibition space, as well a professional support for reflection, research, production, and experimentation.

Throughout the research retreat, the artists carefully work their way toward creating a collective artwork of unprecedented form: an exhibition, a performance, a happening. A safe space that artists have invested and lived in, and that opens for the public at night. In small intimate groups, visitors are given access to this temporary home where they can walk, see, smell, touch, and hear this collective creation.

“Stories are medicine… They have such power; they do not require that we do, be, act anything –we need only listen. The remedies for repair or reclamation of any lost psychic drive are contained in stories.

Stories engender the excitement, sadness, questions, longings, and understandings that bring the Wild Woman back to the surface…”

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves, 1992

As a member of the collective, I acted both as a sound technician, a recordist, a musician and a singer. From a composer and sound designer’s perspective, the topic of intimacy is an interesting one. What does familiarity sound like? How do you hear that you are sharing true connexion with another soul?

For the 2019 edition of HEROINES (we are already preparing the 2020 edition in Thailand), I focused on two sites. One was the Forest, a long corridor peopled with all-original recordings of birdsong, trees and geophonies (water springs especially) which I played live while singer Laure Slabiak (aka Blaubird) performed her piece “In the Garden of my Dreams”. The second site was the Skin Room, the final room in the exhibition, where the audience was invited to sit on a thick blanket of raw wool and taken into a sound bath. While a performer (Ekaterina Makhatadze) played the ocean drum, we walked around the audience and presented them with a sonic massage of sinuzoidal waves, a musical “frisson”. Because of the restrained budget, I scavenged markets for used car parts in Tbilisi to find high-quality, second-hand speakers and soldered together two four-channel soundsystems. I also created four original handheld devices with independent 9V amplifiers, meant to be hovered as close to the skin as possible.

2019 • tbilisi, georgia

Celia Stroom & Bussaraporn Thongchai & Sarai Merodio Ogara & Diane Barbe & Rezvan Farsijani & Stephanie-Lucie Mathern & Laure Slabiak & Natacha Nikouline & Salomé Jashi & Ekaterina Makhatadze & Nino Namitcheishvili & Xosilita Xose & Imako Gogiashvili & Nutsa Iashvili & Ketevan Gunia & Tinatin Tsurkava & Ketevan Kutateladze & Tam Poniava

2020 • online, world wide web

co-curated by Bussaraporn Thonghai, Célia Stroom, Salomé Jashi, Diane Barbé.

The Heroines reflect on isolation, confinement, and intimacy.
This exhibition project empowers yourself to make a step forward and it shows others that we can always go beyond our borders. Every year, we invite women artists to research and create about their inner thoughts, full of doubts and intuitions in an annual exhibition program called “The Enclosed Garden”. In 2020, Celia Stroom designs an online exhibition like a labyrinth of intimacy. The Enclosed Garden offers the opportunity to discover a new kind of immersive experience on web. Being enclosed in one’s body, mind or space is the topic that unite all the artworks. Alone, in silence, in front of their laptops, the audiences discover how artists perceive their physical and psychological enclosure in a virtual labyrinth.

The Enclosed Garden is a space inside of you that you choose to share with others. Now is the perfect time to exhibit artworks about this psychological and physical enclosure!

2021 • bangkok, thailand

co-curated by Bussaraporn Thonghai, Célia Stroom, Salomé Jashi, Diane Barbé.

The Heroines network travels to Thailand. A call for participants and a fundraiser will be published in the summer 2020. Stay tuned for more information.