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Matriarchal Aestethic and Art
(Please klick on photos to see them on an enlarged scale)

Heide Goettner-Abendroth: "Nine Theses on a Matriarchal Aesthetic

Temple in the shape of the Goddess, Malta, Mnaijdra, 3500 B.C.
Temple in the shape of the Goddess, Malta, Mnaijdra, 3500 B.C.
Painting in the presence-chamber of Knossos, Crete
Painting in the presence-chamber of Knossos, Crete
Labyrinth, dancing place of the Muses, Greek coin
Labyrinth, dancing place of the Muses, Greek coin
Women’s ceremonial dance, gold-ring from Crete, 1550 B.C.
Women’s ceremonial dance, gold-ring from Crete, 1550 B.C.
Dancing Maenad, painted Greek vessel
Dancing Maenad, painted Greek vessel

First thesis

Matriarchal art transcends the fictionality principle, which confines art to “beautiful semblance” and rids it of its relation to real life. Beyond the principle of fictionality art is magic.

Magic art changes reality by enabling humans, with the aid of symbols, to act in accordance with the great terrestrial and cosmic cycles.

 

Second thesis

Matriarchal art has an enduring, pre-existing framework: the cycle of the seasons of heaven and earth. These were celebrated in the great cultic festivals throughout the year, which are preserved in the patterns of traditional matriarchal mythologies.

In this sense matriarchal art does not produce objects, but is a process shared by all participants.

 

Third thesis

Since it does not produce objects, matriarchal art knows no separation of artistic genres.

The cultic festivals are an indivisible union of music, song, poetry, dance, ornamentation, visual art, comedy, and tragedy; and everything serves the purpose of invoking, celebrating, and glorifying the Great Goddess in her many diverse aspects.

 

Fourth thesis

Matriarchal art does away with the split in the aesthetic dimension. In patriarchal societies, the aesthetic dimension is split into a formalistic, elitistic, socially insignificant art and a popular, wide-spread, socially despised art.

The dissolution of that split would restore to art the entirely public character it once had. Art would then manifest itself as an alternative symbolic practice and, through its processes of social change, bring about the aestheticization of the entire society.

 

Fifth thesis

In this sense art is not a special technical skill. But it is the ability to create, to nurture, to celebrate, and reshape life.

In every patriarchy, the practice of matriarchal art is an opposing power with the possibility of gentle revolutionary change.”

 

And more theses.

 

 

Read more in:

Heide Goettner-Abendroth:

The Dancing Goddess. Principles of a Matriarchal Aesthetic

Beacon Press, Boston MA, 1991