I removed "Embodied" from Psyche as a costume for the performance and wrapped her in Ariadne's erotic thread.
A labyrinthine man never seeks the truth, but always, only, his Ariadne. Who besides myself knows what Ariadne is?
The performance at 7 PM sharp when I drew the astrological chart, pronouncing ”As Above, So Below” on the canvas.
Like all my performances, this was an experiment, so I tried something new. I drew down Margaret Fuller’s energies by placing her natal horoscope into the chart of the performance. Then, I collected the alchemical poems that I read as part of Cambridge Performance Painting: Margaret Fuller Resurrected and placed them in the three directions: East/Aquarius (The Sacred Marriage); North/Sagittarius (Serpent, Triangle and Rays); West/Leo (Sub Rosa Crux). I proceeded through these three directions by reading a poem associated with the spirit ruling the direction.
When I got to the fourth direction, the South (1 degree Gemini, precisely on Margaret Fuller’s Sun!), I read a section from my novela, The Labyrinth. Written in 1997, this plunge into the Ariadne myth was the outcome of my first art assignment: a preview of a 1997 Open Studios event. It seems that taking on a new identity as art critic necessitated the rewriting of the myth that Suzanne Benton dramatized in her Mask Tale Performance at the opening of the exhibition.
At that point in the performance, Embodied arrived the precise degree of Margaret’s Gemini Sun, the narrative was taking form. During the reading, which was synchronized with Lutz’s dada/classical genius, the red horns of Michael’s phallic red bull merged with the crescent of Ariadne/Margaret’s submerged crowned head. The result is the iconography of the sacred marriage via the crowned Vesica Piscis for the Age of Aquarius:
"Full Circle: Margaret Fuller" (detail/Vesica Piscis)
“Eat or be eaten. Eat the bull in place of the king. The universe will not permit you to give up power. Giving up power would mean sacrificing the gains you have made in the labyrinth!
The knowledge you have accumulated of the journey itself through this intricate step-by- step process of transformation of the god image! You make a move away from him and you automatically shatter the mirror. You will know when it is time.
Tatyana Stepanova, head covered, with Michael Manning
It is nearly time. You are on the way out of the labyrinth now. You have found the image you were seeking in its center. A cyclical journey to obtain one identity, only to have another waiting in the wings. The Labors of Alexander hacking through the forest.
Lutz Rath (on Violincello) with Tatyana Stepanova and Michael Manning (painting)
Along the way, there are many mysterious encounters. Alchemical reactions. You must strike quickly this time. This one is tense and alert, like a mountain lion, wary of his game. You must strike quickly; otherwise he catches on and calls a halt to the entire experiment. So, you turn to the Sculptor, the Minotaur, pumped up energy ready to explode. He alleviates you of the pain of sifting through symbols in search of the one leading through the final, and most difficult passage. He beckons you into his studio, at the opposite end of the labyrinth from Alexander. There he hands you a Peace symbol, a swirling line with his thumbprint above and an empty space below. So, there he sits alone, dancing the universal dance of opposites without a reflection to reveal the shadow. Alexander looked straight at you when he said: “I have to do my own thing. I have to work by myself.”
Ariadne beseeching Thesius
And there lies his hope and his tragedy. He will succeed or fail on his own. You confirmed out loud the challenge before him: to merge and conquer the most powerful artist he could find in order to travel the path of death and rebirth — the death of the amateur and rebirth as the professional artist on a path to his destiny.
Ariadne with the Bull, embodying her Voice as she confronts the image of her Kundalini Embodiment.
This was the myth of Alexander, THESIUS, entering the labyrinth to slay the Minotaur and using Ariadne’s thread as an escape. So Ariadne set up this competition!
Michael Manning with the Bull
The victor would be the consort of the princess, favored by the Love Goddess!
And so it happened.
An iconic portrait of the sacred marriage for the Age of Aquarius: the crowned head of Ariadne/Margaret merged with the Bull/phallus.
One observer/participant viewed this as the ejaculation of the bull’s sperm onto Ariadne’s face. And what of the red dots? The sperm (Jupiter in Aries) of the zeitgeist (Uranus Retrograde at 29 degrees Pisces) in which the authentic face of the feminine (Ariadne) arises from her slumber with an enlivened erotic Voice!
Indeed, a quick Internet search just pulled this up from Ariadne’s Lives by Nina daVinci Nichols:
“Chopin went still further to show that even when her aspects were unified historically, erotic woman in the male encounters of desire returned to the condition of the destructive maid. In these three instances, Ariadne functions as a heroine’s supramythic progenitor and an operative principle conferring meaning on language.”
It seems that this collaborative experiment between three Aquarians (Tatyana, Lutz and myself) established a real time transparent portrait of Ariadne finding her voice via the containment of the kundalini energy. The result is a dance with Dionysius, which will, in fact be our next live performance.
Conclusion: ”Full Circle: Margaret Fuller” resulted in the icon I have been seeking for 27 years: the Vesica Piscis for the Age of Aquarius!!
What do you think about this painting?
"Full Circle: Margaret Fuller" by Tatyana Stepanova and Michael Manning, Aug 17, 2010 Painting Performance at HP Garcia Gallery with Lutz Rath (violincello) and curator Lisa Paul Streitfeld