inside GAIA

Photo - Performance by Iris Brosch Venice Art Biennale 2019

Internationally acclaimed photographer and video artist Iris Brosch weaves her feminist concept into deeply intriguing images to explore possible Fields of action, play and utopia. Brosch finds inspiration in ancient myths, histories, literature and various adaptations from the text.

Iris Brosch is one of the first artists who produced performances at the Venice Biennale in 2005. Since then she depicts the relationship between feminism and ecology, the mystical connection between woman and nature, and shared histories of oppression based on her concept of Eco-Feminism. With delicate body language, opulent staging and sensitive scanning of the female body’s surface, Brosch encourages female empowerment and self-acceptance by proposing the female body as a tool to overcome fear (Divinita – Birth of Black Venus - Centro Italiano per le Arti e la Cultura, 51st Venice Art Biennale, 2005.)

With Woman and Nature Near Extinction, (2013), Metamophoses de L’amour, (2017) or even earlier, In Paradisum (2003,) the artist references to elementary sources of human and non-human life where women emerge from the waters and canals of Venice. Within the framework of “Tableaux Vivants” Brosch employs a comprehensive metaphorical language that offers allegorical gestures that are borrowed from Greek myths and their transformed versions throughout the history of literature and the arts.

In her 2019 production, Brosch depicts on the 58th Venice Art Biennale theme “May You Live In Interesting Times” that suggests the urgency of environmental, political, and social instability. However, she radically goes further into experimental explorations to find Gaia, not as a deity from deep times, but as an entity that relates
to our times of crisis where Earth and all human and non-humans are at risk through an ongoing cataclysmic event of climate change and extinction.

Iris Brosch created an environment that offered three places to find a way “Inside Gaia”. One location was hosted by Fiora Gandolfi in her palazzo in the heart of Venice, where Gaia evolved through explorations within the enclosed eclectic environment of its historic architecture. Later she and her crew relocated to the Canale Grande across the historic Palazzo of Ca’ Corner della Regina, and finally established the third site of her performance on the island of Guidecca in cooperation with Manuel Carrion of Galleria il Redentore.

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The artist concept of “Inside Gaia” is not defined as just a search for the cliché idea of loss of nature but moreover it gives access to a “critical zone” described by Bruno Latour in the Gifford Lectures (2013) of our living sphere.

Similarly, Iris Brosch suggests a utopian and complete different perception of our planet that is animated, inhabited, and vitalize by other-wordly figures of women/men, and being relaunched by hybrid- mythical goddesses or multispecies creatures that remind us of friendly Medusa versions caring and sharing in multiple gestures.

Just as Donna Haraway proposed “playing string figures” and the practice of “tentacular” figures Iris Brosch protagonists closely communicate, inter-mingle and experiment, support and serve each other as one nourishing entity.

Text by Artemis HERBER



of the world

In the begining there was only chaos. Then out of the void appeared Erebus, the unknowable place where death dwells, and Night. All else was empty, silent, endless, darkness. Then somehow Love was born bringing a start of order. From Love came Light and Day. Once there was Light and Day, Gaea, the earth appeared

GAIA , born out of chaos, creates sky and ocean

GAIA , born out of chaos, creates sky and ocean



In Greek mythologyGaia (/ˈɡeɪ.ə/ or /ˈɡaɪ.ə/; from Ancient Greek Γαῖα, a poetical form of Γῆ , "land" or "earth"),also spelled Gaea (/ˈdʒiːə/), is the personification of the Earth and one of the Greek primordial deities.

Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess. She is the immediate parent of Uranus (the sky), from whose sexual union she bore the Titans (themselves parents of many of the Olympian gods) and the Giants, and of Pontus (the sea), from whose union she bore the primordial sea gods. Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra.