Travelogue of the Wandering Womb, Her Fantastic Encounters and Curious Utterings: To the Copper Mountains

The Travelogues are fictitous narratives being written as sixty stories for the Lost Volumes. This Travelogue to the Copper Mountains is a retracing of the Simon van der Stel expedition of 1685 narrated from different perspectives. It is a work of return and repair.

This, the second Travelogue of the Wandering Womb, Her Fantastic Encounters and Strange Utterances: To the Copper Mountains, is an ongoing work that will eventually have a series of manifestations in Namaqualand, South Africa. Since travel has been impossible in 2020 and 2021 the work is developing vicariously both in exhibition form and as narrative in the Lost Volumes. In 2020-21 it was a part of the exhibition No One Would Have Believed, Netwerk Aalst. Mariske Broeckmeyer and I created a second audio work, again a quadrophonic piece, this time using both of our voices and introducing the voice of Michele Burgers. The circular bed was again at the centre of the installation.

To the Copper Mountains is the first leg of a return to Angola. On Signal Hill above Cape Town the Wandering Womb invokes Maaij Claesje as the spirit-being !midwif and, following the high ground, they set off for the Kamiesberg, Namaqualand. On the ground Orlando, as illustrator, apothecary, botanist, journal keeper and preternaturalist, is part of the 1685 expedition of the governor Simon van der Stel to the Copper Mountains. Muriel, as Emissary to the Past and the writing hand, is (re)working the archives. Together with Ear – who listens for the Unsaid – Wandering Womb, Orlando, Muriel and !midwif make up the Company, a constellation of organs and entities.

The Company Ghosts

The ghosts of countless women who resorted to plant remedies to abort The ghosts of…

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