Janus: Solstice of Masculinity On-Going

Direction / Concept / Editing Julian Harold
Photography Jelena Luise
Cast Lukas Gschwandtner
MUA Saule Ramancauskaite
Technique Giclée Print on 340GSM Baryta Prestige Canson
Dimensions 100 X 70CM

Janus: Solstice of Masculinity is an on-going multimedia project whose conceptual departure point is Roman god Janus Geminus and that take the shape of a three-parted live performance in a gallery space. To the Romans, he was the god of the gods. Doorkeeper of the heavens, all forms of transition came within his purview: beginnings and endings, entrances and passageways. The cult statue of Janus depicted the god bearded with two heads. In many depictions, the god even has one face of a man and one of a woman signifying the unity and duality of male and female essences in each of us. Within this god that sees both forward and backward, the masculine and feminine energies and qualities are in complete balance and harmony. Janus was seen by Roman intellectual Macrobius as an uranic deity. The word derives from Greek goddess Aphrodite Urania who was created out ofUranus’ testicles. The goddess inspired pioneer German anthropologist Karl Heinrich Ulrichs in his 1864 Forschungen über das Räthsel der mannmännlichen Liebeor Research into the Riddle of Man – Male Love. Defining what will later on be called the homosexual gender, Ulrichs introduces uranians as a female psyche in a male body or vice versa. By juxtaposing different mythological and history cases study, Janus: Solstice of Masculinity sets an epic where masculinity and feminity reach their solstice from one another. The project depicts masculinity as a defensive and destructive posture contra love and thus contra feminity. 
Dating from about 43 000 years ago, the first flute ever discovered was made out of the femur of a juvenile cave bear. Flutes were also the first of the woodwind instruments to be created by humankind. All the instruments which are gathered under this group have in common to be often associated to both war times and eroticism. Due to their capacity to produce very high volumes, woodwind instruments would be the ideal tool to call all citizens when an announcement had to be give by authorities. The anatomy of most flutes is characterised by three holes, through which the wind is streamed as wellas a particular length which allows it to get blownout in the air. What can liberate bodies from the dual concept which creates and seperates genders at the same time? Perhaps a ritual of men streaming wind into three three-holed flutes could be the departure point of a new civilisation. During the Peloponnesian War, Sparta was a reknown city-state where women enjoyed considerably more rights and equality to men than elsewhere. The writings of Plutarch, Plato and Pausanias recordedscenes of flogging, in varying degrees of violenceand taking place in Sparta’s Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia. Taking place once a year and in the honour of the goddess of hunt and fertility, the cult would gather adolescents, also known as ephebos, to get beaten at the altar making them into formidable warriors. Which status would men flog themselves for today in a secular civilisation and which form would a masculinity test have? What deities would hold their judgment and could eternal puberty
be their punishment? The third part closes the epic with an ultimate solo where a male figure faces himself. In a state of schizophrenia, has he not come to the conclusion he could only fall in love with himself.

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