Justyna Koeke - Sodom and Gomorrah

Performance installation
2008 / 60’

The animals, women, children, all in red – explosive red, volcanic red, wine red – are doing something weird. We don’t know what they are doing; it evokes some sort of a ritual participated in by women, children and animals. There’s no sound, only movements; women pat the animals and children play with them. The animals lying on the ground seem to be dead and the people try to bring them back to life.

The eloquence of her formal language, as well as the language of colours – which in different cultures invokes a number of symbolic meanings infused with emotional dimensions – is thoughtfully combined with the softness of the selected materials. In her work, Justyna Koeke is focused on the ideas that live in our subconscious or in dreams. Human imagination plays a significant role, as well as psychological mechanisms such as repression or control and reflection of social structures in general. She loves working with children because they live in the world of freedom that is difficult to reach for adults. In her view, children are beings that are not – like adults – totally determined by a society-imposed system of beliefs and behaviour; thus, she integrates them into her performances.