Berlin fashion designer Tata Christiane and performance artist/photographer Viviana Druga also featured in German lesson story in issue 02 of The Forum magazine are re-staging mythical characters from the Tarot de Marseille—one of the standard patterns of design for tarot cards originating in the 15th century. In their ongoing performance entitled 21 + 1, friends and performance artists were invited to pose as 22 cards from the Great Arcana. Sophisticated draping in each image reimagines the clothing of the original characters and their surrounding landscape. A ritual dimension persists: the models embody the mystic characters in a both tactile and material frequency.
Which is the connection between the real character and their mythical and symbolic rolefrom the cards? As an incarnation of the symbols, how did they absorb the roles?
Viviana Druga: I did not want to have a 22 models casting that would be shot in a row. The real people interpreting the characters were chosen according to the significance of the motifs depicted on the cards. Sometimes it would take a longer time to find the right person but usually time played an important role as the people I would meet during my quest would prepare themselves for the upcoming cards. I see a transfer between the characters and the real people taking place, a transformation into the mythic character and vice versa. Some of the real characters would bring their own input—their own personalities manifested onto the card, adding contemporary elements. For example, the devil basically created his own representation by adding breasts and horns that he made out of polyester.
How do your cards reflect back on the classic Marseille Tarot?
Viviana Druga: Vast eras and auras are being bridged in our ’22+1? series of art cards. The classic Tarot du Marseille is reanimated. In a way, the flesh and the bones of the real characters are adding soul to them. Archetypal symbolism is revived and reinterpreted in contemporary, razor-sharp photo collages, printed and installed as a life-sized game. The relevance of the psychological and transcendental dimensions of the photos, which can be accessed selectively in turn by each viewer during the exhibition, is closely linked to the relativity of the game itself.
Artwork/photography by Viviana Druga.
Set/Costumes by Tata Christiane.
Words and interview by Marta Jecu for OE magazine.