Research

The inspiration for ‘skirt power stories’ began with the ritual gesture of Anasyrma, the lifting of the skirt. The intention of these posts is to present some of our discoveries about the gesture: its mythological settings and their many offshoots; possible meanings and varying details of those origins; reflections on how our understanding has evolved over time; and what prompted our own extrapolations (with links to the artwork as well as the dialogue posts).
The ancient stories associated with the act of Anasyrma illustrate both the roots of a traditional ‘way of being’ in masculine or feminine, as well as a more fluid gender identification as exemplified by its use in the passage across ‘Bridge of Jests’ during the procession celebrating the Eleusinian Mysteries. These reflections on gender remain relevant; the continuity of the values and the questions and contentions they raise will be one of the subjects of these posts.
The research posts will remain ongoing as we continue our artwork and stories. Readers might wish to refer to it for their own interest or use it as a quick phone (or other device) reference while looking at one of our pieces in a gallery setting or online. But we hope the posts will invite dialogue as well, a continuing exploration of the many ways this ancient myth might speak to us in an age of cynicism, exploitation, consumerism, and mass social communication.
For those who wish to investigate the subject further, our intention is to include other sources from ancient to contemporary on this gesture of Anasyrma.
Anasyrma was and is a profound form of communication. Its long history inspires as it implies an un-stifled life force that even today many find frightening in its fierce, sensual, freedom and potency. It remains a ritualistic gesture of protest around the world, restoring power and laughter to women globally and acknowledging a collective grief for the lost feminine spirit in all of us.

image for the story Knowing

Cow Bulls

THE LARGER CONTEXT