Elizabeth Adamson (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

Abstract / Description of output

Wurstkopf Making Wandou is a performance by Liz Adamson, commissioned by Jupiter Artland for the Edinburgh International Art Festival event Nemoralia, curated by Alexa Hare. It was a paying ticketed event attended by 150 visitors.
A series of eight performances staged throughout the Artland, Nemoralia culminated in a torch led procession of participating artists and viewers, in accordance to its namesake the Roman Festival of Torches, a day of rest for women and slaves.
In Nemoralia, Adamson’s identity is obscured as Wurstkopf : neoprene clad, shrouded by an intimidating headdress made of sausages it is reminiscent of the food formed heads of 16th century painter Acrimboldo in its meatiness and interspersed with small ceramic birds on nest like foliage.
Inspired by a sausage seller holding out an empty alms plate as St Christopher passes viewed in a Northern Renaissance painting by Jan Wellens De Cock.

Wurstkopf, connected with Adamson’s continuing fascination with a static character, presented in a formal pose, the identity hidden using simple devices, such as long hair combed over the face, or in this case hanging sausages. By segueing the same project, she worked on in Beijing called Wandou - Mandarin word for pea- where members of the public joined in a new pursuit, making beautiful expanding tetrahedral structures from cocktail sticks and peas. By placing Wurstkopf alongside Wandou the dynamic was changed to an uncanny riddle, a spell being woven; creating a new dialogue with the viewer/participants.
Adamson’s new work emerges from a current consideration of the witch as a feminist archetype, a catalyst for change, juxta-positioned with societies’ treatment of those perceived as other, and an attempted silencing of the female voice.
Her previous exhibitions You Do Voodoo, Heavy Metal Mouth and Witch explored her long term interests and formed a complex organism: gothic horror, fin-de siècle occultism, northern romanticism and surrealist eroticism.
For the festival performance Adamson placed Wurstkopf at the lakeside, beside a boat hut containing vials of water from across the world by artist Tania Kovats. Prior to the full performance, Adamson worked with members of the public to make the extended piece that Wurstkopf continued in the final presentation to the audience, as they were guided through the Nemoralia performances.
Original languageEnglish
Place of Publication Edinburgh International Art Festiva
PublisherJupiter ArtLand
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


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