Female Remedy Exhibiton video by Robert Windisch
Symptom Recital: Music for Wild Angels is a live performance and film that accompanied the exhibition Female Remedy at the House am Waldsee in September 2022.
Female Remedy is a performance and an exhibition about a collective of women both familiar and unique to this story and this setting. The setting and spiritual locus for these women is Hospital Hekmat. This is a facility for an illness which needs no cure. The purpose of this infirmary is to fortify existing insolence and foster growth through comic relief and buffoonery. A healing ground for the unrepentant woman.
Female Remedy is a comedy of manners which ponders illness as a state of mind as well as body. It is unclear what is precisely ailing these ladies but their suffering is profound and comically melodramatic. The staff at this hospital are driven by exaggerated charity, and the will to cover up, hide, erase, and ignore all kinds of trauma. Nurses fall in love with patients, patients fall in love with each other and soon everyone is suffering the same delirious
maladies. The women in this hospital are delightfully ill and see their illnesses as incurable and yet continue ever so earnestly to attempt to cure themselves. This is a satire about illness as a portal to self discovery.
The irregular mocking flamboyances circulating this infirmary speak of a secret protest against the principles which govern other hospitals. A notable aspect of this protest is the uninhibited struggle to create a new psychic and sexual language for themselves that includes gestures, costume and behaviour in order to create a self-image which they have suppressed. Flaws and fragility are not obscured but rather flaunted.
The Hospital aims to help them reconcile with their failures and rejections and adopt positive attitudes towards their compulsion to transgress. They learn that self willed insolence and infantile behaviour form a powerful alliance with the rousing of a flourishing sexuality and this gives them the strength to survive.
The Haus am Waldsee will be transformed into an religious sanatorium for woman complete with hospital beds, a surgery room, a chapel and other various rooms for treatment. The walls will be covered with hospital-like white curtains printed with digital collages and beds that enshrine idiosyncratic characters along with figures depicting the quirky patients and their caretakers.
The story of these women is presented in a songspiel told by the hospital’s head nurse and Jewish general surgeon Krankensister Rene. Krankensister Rene is abnormal and otherworldly. A gender defying bohemian punk hippie with a sardonic sense of humour. She lives for contradictions and gleefully plays with fire. The performance, Symptom Recital: Music for Wild Angels, will take the form of a variety show consisting of stand-up comedy confessions with musical interludes weaving stories of the trials and tribulations of the irreverent staff and patients. The songspiel will be adapted from live performance into a multipart sound installation for the duration of the exhibition.