I am your shadow, I am your light

«I am your shadow, I am your light» site specific installation at «of Color» Helmhaus, Zürich, Switzerland, 2019

20 Monotypes (size variable); Plants, Earth, black Feathers, painted Cage, silver Casket, Candles in painted Glasses

Lubomira Lavrikova deals with cultural and religiously connoted archetypes. For her installation “I am your shadow, I am your light” at the Helmhaus Zürich, Museum of Contemporary Art, she collects mystical symbols from Mesopotamian, early Christian, and natural-religious contexts and assembles them into a new cosmos. At the center of the installation and performative practice is the search for the feminine principle, which she unflinchingly senses and always sees in dialogue with her male counterpart. Through her autobiographically inspired poems, she creates a connection to the present and her own story.

Her figure “Dark Princess” unflinchingly wanders through time and makes use of a fund of mythological deities and Christian mystical figures with ease. On the black-and-white drawings, the Ouroboros can be seen several times, a snake that bites its own tail and, since ancient Egypt, haunts through the world of images. Ishtar, a deity worshiped in Mesopotamia, Lilith, a goddess of Sumerian mythology, Lamassu, an Assyrian protective demon, and Shamash, the Babylonian sun god, emerge. The wafer-thin paper, the clear contours of the figures and the blurred lines make the drawings look like frottages, a technique also used by archaeologists.

C. G. Jung, the founder of the modern archetype theory, described anima (i.e., prototype of the female) and animus (i.e, the prototype of the male) as primeval and timeless images of the collective subconscious. They are projections of the ego and appear in myths, fairy tales, and art. Lubomira Lavrikova’s spatial installations of drawings, candles, branches, and the accompanying ritual performances reflect a similar search for the archetypes of the feminine and the masculine, which unite in a great dance.

© Daniela Minneboo