I have come here to the prints of ancient feet, my mother's, and I ask of you to look benignly upon the women's cause. Look upon our race in history, and show that you remember all, you who laid your hands upon Io:
Io, the white cow. Io, the red, my green-eyed monster, my lunatic. Earth cow, morns, wing, blood. Dead sisters—brilliant nudes—marching in a single line into her vagina, past the Low Mountain, past the High pointed Mountain, into the centre of the Flat Mountain, towards Mu’s whirlpool.
When I rub my eyes with my fists, I see fantastic images: From the top of Mu’s house threads of cloth are hanging, changing into gold; purple hallways decked with golden stars; colourful moving serpents in a chaotic knot; Mu’s animal with claws like needles; a glass palace with snow steps; a rotating crown casting glittering rays into the night…
Rainbow-coloured curtains wave and flutter. The transformations spread from one to another, the rainbow passes across their faces while you—unchanging in the chestnut colour of your hair—you start to cry out while I regard you in your great ecstasy stung by the gadfly, radiating like orgasm. Round as a singing mouth at full stretch; round as a vagina when it makes; round as a full belly; round as a baby’s head, you come to us. On your forehead you bear my crescents, your eyes hypnotic as my clockface disc, bleeding and peeling.
I am your poet, mother. The time of the child is a thing apart.
-Drawing on Aeschylos’ “Prometheus Bound;” Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven’s “Body Sweats;” Monique Wittig’s “The Lesbian Body;” Marge Piercy’s “The Moon is Always Female;” Staffan Mjönes’ “Shaman, Psychoanalyst or Obstetrician: A critical reading of Claude Lévi-Strauss’ essay “The Efficiency of Symbols”;” Unica Zürn’s “The Trumpets of Jericho;” Sylvia Plath’s “Ariel,” and Mary MacLane’s “I await the Devil’s Coming.”
Marie Kølbæk Iversen
Marie Kølbæk Iversen (f.1981, DK) lives and works in Copenhagen. Since 2017, she has been an artistic research fellow at the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo and Institute for Anthropology at Aarhus Universitet. She is a graduate from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, 2008. Marie Kølbæk Iversen has solo exhibited, among others, at Overgaden (DK), Parmer (US), Annual Reportt (DK), Gether Contemporary (DK), Officin (DK), ARIEL (DK) and she has participated in group exhibitions at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (DK), Statens museum for kunst (DK), Den Frie (DK), Heine Onstad (NO), Kunsthall Trondheim (NO), Cisternerne (DK), Kai Art Centre (LT), Tensta Konsthall (SE), 11th Gwangju Biennial (CN), Arken Museum of Modern Art (DK), Röda Sten Konsthall, (SE), Fotografisk Center (DK), The MONA Museum (AUS), Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneve (CH), KUMU Museum (LT), Kunsthal Charlottenborg (DK), Kunsthallen Brandts (DK). The works of Marie Kølbæk Iversen can be experienced in the collections at Statens Museum for Kunst (DK), Arken Museum of Modern Art (DK), Malmø Kunstmuseum (SE) and Statens Kunstfond (DK).