Pulling Matter from Unknown Sources is an ongoing, experimental research project. The project was triggered by a meeting with Messanh Amedegnato, a Togolese friend of the artist’s in Berlin who was consecrated as priest to Hèbiesso (deity of thunder) in 2014, and has since been known as Togbé Hounon Hounougbo Bahousou. Ter Heijne was interested in the connection between materiality and spirit in the rituals surrounding Messanh’s inauguration and his subsequent practice in Togo and Berlin, which toggles locality and cultural significance. As part of her research in Berlin and Togo, Ter Heijne interviewed Togbé Hounon and priestess Mami Da Povi on the significance of various ingredients used in rituals, including specific dances, powders, oils and blood, and on the subject of unisex and genderless deities. The project has been shown as a video installation with interviews, rituals and ceremonies held in Togo and Berlin. Since the project began, Ter Heijne’s home and studio have served as a place for a portable alter dedicated to Hèbiesso. It allows Ter Heijne to act as both a researcher and participant, further displacing traditional concepts of authorship that continue to dominate the Western art world.
This project has been shown at
Mathilde ter Heijne and Norbert Witzgall, AFTER THE BUTCHER, Berlin, 2014
Springer nochmals, The Humboldt Lab Dahlem, Berlin, 2015