Gal Sherizly

Modern Spells, 2021

60 x 80 cm
digital c-print


“One reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs. [...] any woman born with a great gift in the sixteenth century would certainly have gone crazed, shot herself, or ended her days in some lonely cottage outside the village, half witch, half wizard, feared and mocked at.”
–A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf

We have heard enough stories about the hero and his wars, oppression, killing, and conquering–the his-story. The rise of capitalism, and the subsequent expropriation of communal land and values, has led to violation of livelihood and labour. The increased interest in scientific mechanisms reflects the alienation from natural medicinal practices–the intuitive power of our ancestors, the witches. The accusation and execution of witches, specifically of elderly women, is not a known part of conventional his-tories. Her-story is of greater importance–the story of a healer, a herbalist, a folk doctor, who transforms natural elements through magic, embodied knowledge, cooking, and preserving for the long lasting.

Since she didn’t have a room of her own she found herself isolated in the kitchen–weaving flavours, layering colours, and collaging origins. She manifests a genuine connection to the rhythms of nature. Intuitively, she explores the intelligent pharmacy of her surroundings, resisting patriarchy and oppressive constellations that want to deny her given forces.

Our future is in the past, the tradition and craft. It doesn’t mean we are standing still, but rather rediscovering what we have forgotten. As we progressed we lost a sense of reciprocal bonds within the community, in collaboration with nature. Modern spells is an edible installation that aims to reclaim the kitchen and witchcraft to inform modalities of resistance. Each carrier and each dish contain the cure, assembled medicinal remedies from nature.

Dishes featured in the photo:

microbes, bacteria and me are we
trust your center
your guts
the lower dantian
your real brain
all the answers are there
they isn’t necessarily just
a question of gender
but a manifestation of the we in me together we digest the rotten
and construct the space around us

Ingredients - fermented carrots & celeriac, preserved moroccan lemon (contains sweet paprika), pickled radish (contains with elderflower & peach), pickled walnuts (contains cardamom), preserved mirabelle plums & red clover contains honey), preserved wild garlic capers with olive oil, herbs sourdough bruschetta (palestinian za’atar, oregano & rosemary), labneh (made by pilz café), matbucha (tomatoes, chilli, garlic, sweet paprika, cumin), lindauer spruce honey, black cumin seeds oil, maple syrup, orange blossom tincture, candied black pepper (made by collectif ceres), tahini, lemon.

slimming into the future
cooling down
boosting energies
all companion bacterias and me
we are ready to fight
the bad

Ingredients - snow fungus, lotus seeds (lian zi), lily bulb (bai he), dried longan (gui yuan), ginger, green pepper, pickled ribes with anise star and cinnamon.

About the artist:

Gal Sherizly was born in Tel Aviv and lives and works in Berlin. She is a multidisciplinary artist, working primarily with collages as a tool to render speculations of possible worlds. Her work aims to stimulate senses through the use of diverse colours and textures. Collage is assembled visually–on paper, film or video–but also smells and flavours–a patchwork of aesthetics and aromas as an act of merging differences and tell an interconnected glocal story. Gal uses cooking as a form of engaging response-ability and a way to partake in reciprocity.

Her practice explores the notion of sympoiesis (from greek: collaboratively-making) as a medium of exchange, informing the work and generating new modalities of sensorial communication. Sympoiesis suggests a multilayered mixture of rich transdisciplinary practices that harmonizing together rather than prioritizing an individualized way of working. She sees fungal as a greater inspiration for sympoietic collaboration–all aim to interconnect multitude diversity, finding a sense of coherence across contradictions.