Maiden, Mother, Crone

Amrita Stützle

2017 - Ongoing

In my long term project, titled Maiden, Mother, Crone, I have been exploring my relationship with my mother alongside an investigation on spirituality, in particular, the deeply undertheorized history of witchcraft. My mother has self-identified as Wiccan, reclaiming the role of the witch for all of my life. Through a combination of research into the history of witchcraft and a contemporary understanding of its practice, my interest lies in investigating the tropes we think we know but in fact, don't understand their complexities. The violent history of the persecution of witchcraft based on gender holds deep roots in our contemporary understanding of spirituality, medicine, even capitalism. Historical texts such as the Malleus Maleficarum, a brutal treatise on witchcraft, was sold only second to the bible for more than 100 years, seeping deeply into our contemporary culture. Demonized and considered outsider through signifiers such as age, lack of Christian virtues, and sexual deviancy the witch was and continues to be falsely persecuted.

Given the backdrop of this history, in my work, I consider how to untangle these tropes from within by making images alongside my mother. A single woman who for much of my life chose to reclaim this role of outsider. Thusly, I believe the contemporary practice of witchcraft can be viewed as a wildly feminist act. I am interested in creating an imaginary world alongside my mother where I reference this history while reclaiming the power of magic as a radical and restorative act.

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