Negative Space

2021

Performance and installation
Co-performer Marie Askeland
Ph. Kristine Jakobsen

«The 100-year anniversary of the first woman sawed in half for laughs, Artemisia Gentileschi's repetitive scenes of beheading, and the intense physical effort required to play a murdered woman, again. Under a ceiling of an in-process, expansive feminist canon that looks like a river. Marianne Heier’s ‘s Negative Space" last night was such a combined blessing of seeing, embodying and sharing among female-identified persons at Femidomen—a feminist space that brings art together with seance and the somatic—that ended with eating hot dogs together and a boat-ride home across the fjord.»
Sarah Lookofsky

On November 3 last year, while the United States was going to the polls, a large, oblong tumor was surgically removed from my neck. It had grown around the nerves to my vocal cords, completely enveloping them. From within myself I had grown a phallus and let it enclose my voice. I lived with it for many years. I spoke through it. A negative child in an alternative uterus or an extra, missing organ. It grew out of me and into me. Of me, but also fundamentally other, which pressed on the trachea and maybe wanted to take over.

Before the operation, they made me sign a paper stating that I was aware that it might take my voice with it forever, it was not certain it would let go so easily.

But when I woke up from the anesthesia, Trump had lost the election, and I had a new mouth between my body and my head.

Den 3. november i fjor, mens USA gikk til valg, ble en stor, avlang knute operert ut av halsen min. Den hadde vokst rundt nervene til stemmebåndet, omsluttet dem helt. Fra innsiden av meg selv hadde jeg dyrket fram en fallos og latt den pakke inn stemmen min. Jeg levde med den i mange år, snakket gjennom den. Et negativt barn i en alternativ livmor eller et ekstra, manglende organ. Den vokste ut fra meg og inn i meg. Del av meg, men også grunnleggende annet, som presset mot luftrøret og kanskje ville overta.

Før operasjonen måtte jeg skrive under på at jeg var klar over at den kanskje ville ta med seg stemmen min for alltid, det var ikke sikkert den ville slippe taket så lett.

Men da jeg våknet fra narkosen hadde Trump tapt valget, og jeg hadde fått en ny munn mellom kroppen og hodet.