Adelina Popnedeleva

Alchemy

2010

One of Popnedelva’s earliest performances, Nirvana (1999), has been performed several times in different locations. The artist, dressed in a white gown, with her long hair flowing, proceeds to wash several white men’s shirts, one at a time. She washes the shirts in mud, so they become dirty, not clean. The contradiction between the action and the result is central to the performance. The artist states that this contradiction exists in every aspect of our lives, and is what makes us complete. She sees this performance as a way of getting to know her “dark side,” or nigredo – an alchemical term, which Jung also used in his theories regarding the self. Years later, when Popnedeleva felt that she had gotten to know herself better – perhaps through these ritualistic performances – she created Alchemy (2010), a performance in which she washes the same white shirts in gold. In the background, as she soaks these shirts in gold. Popnedeleva describes the scene: “I am wearing seven white shirts, which I take off one by one and feather in golden water. With the last shirt I enter the court. A video with the performance Nirvana is running on the screen. The performance Alchemy is connected with the exit from the stage of ‘nigredo’ and the transition to a new stage expresses a new step in my psychological development – go out from nigredo.This time wash the shirts with ‘gold.’”  

 

More info:

Live performance, 2010, Lamezia, Italy, festival “Le arti del gesto.”