SIXTYEIGHT ART INSTITUTE
Enheduana: Dronning over Verdens Magter / Queen of the World's Powers
Created and performed by Danica Curcic, Samina Bazai and Stine Grøn
10-11 September, 16 October, 4 November 2022
Curated by Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller

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Performers, left to right: Stine Grøn, Samina Bazai, Danica Curcic. Photo: Paula Duvå
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Performance view. Photo: Paula Duvå
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Performance view. Photo: Paula Duvå
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Performance view. Photo: Paula Duvå

Dansk tekst for neden.


Queen of the World's Powers is a performative interpretation of a Sumerian long poem written by Enheduana, the earliest known author in the history of literature, who lived in Mesopotamia around 2300 BCE.

The performance is based on the first Danish translation of the ancient Sumerian text, made by Sophus Helle and edited by Shëkufe Tadayoni Heiberg at Forlaget Uro. Performed by Danica Curcic, Samina Bazai and Stine Grøn.

4300 years ago the world's first identified author wrote hymns to the Sumerian gods and goddesses. Enheduana was high priestess in the ancient city of Ur in Mesapotamia, where she ruled the spritiual and political life of the city from her temple.

Queen of the World's Powers, Enheduana's main work, praises and invokes the goddess Inanna in particular, in the hope that she will help fight the insurgents who have have driven Enheduana out of Ur. The poem is replete with divine rage and powerful creativity, expressed in language that resounds limpidly and encompasses mystical depths, awakening resonances in the present day.

Queen of the World's Powers shows us what happens to people who find themselves in a state of existential crisis, just as Enheduana in the long poem comes to know her own limits after being driven out of her city and her office by political insurgents. What do we do when we loose our footing and our sense of security? What do we reach for in the midst of powerlessness and despair? And how do we find new ways amidst a structural upheaval of the world? - questions of crisis in which we in many ways can easily see ourselves, as we in various ways are both physically and psychologically affected by climate change, the pandemic and war in Europe.

Queen of the World's Powers pays homage to a goddess who transcends good and evil, and who rules over everyone and everything with untamed chaotic power. The poem speaks to us across four millenia and carries with it a wild and liberating energy.


The Historical Enheduana

Enheduana was a prominent figure of her time. As the daughter of King Sargon the Great of Accadia and Queen Tashlultum she was made high priestess of the moon goddess Nanna in the great city of Ur, in the southern part of the kingdom. She was one of the first women to hold this glorious and influencial office, and from her temple she kept the goddesses satisfied and spread work and wealth among the people.

That it is at all possible to read her words today bears witness to the fame and status she had in her own time. For example, her texts were for several centuries used in ancient Babylonian schools to teach the dead Sumerian language - in the same way that Latin is still taught in schools and at universities in Europe today.

More than 40 hymns written by Enheduana for the temples and gods of the Sumerian cities are known. Because so many copies of her texts were made on clay tablets, it is probable that researchers will in the future find new and unknown texts by the world's first author.


Bios

Danica Curcic (b. 1985) is an award-winning Danish-Serbian actress, who graduated from The Danish National School of Performing Arts in 2012. Her resume includes several Danish and international theatre, film and TV productions. For her presentations, she has received numerous awards and nominations.

Samina Bazai (b. 1985) is a Danish-Pakistani visual artist who graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2014. Bazai’s artistic practice expresses itself through performance, text, research and film. Her work is rooted in a continuous investigation and evocation of the inherent legacy of narratives.

Stine Grøn (b. 1986) is a Danish singer and composer with a candidate in composition from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. Grøn is one half of the critically acclaimed music group IRAH and her musical universe is both meditative and ecstatically intimate. Grøn also works as a vocal sound therapist.

Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller (b. 1984) is a Danish curator based at SixtyEight Art Institute. Her curatorial practice is concerned with new materialism, biomimicry, social structures, gender and performativity. She holds an MA in Visual Culture from Copenhagen University and an international MA in Curation from Aarhus University.


The idea for the performance was developed by curator Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller as a continuation of the research she began through the exhibition project Above the Sky, Beneath the Ground at SixtyEight Art Institute and Thorvaldsens Museum in the autumn of 2021. The exhibition project addresses among other things climate change, new materialism, and animistic world views.

The performance Enheduana: Queen of the World's Powers was produced by SixtyEight Art Institute and made possible by the generous support of Thorvaldsens Museum, Golden Days, William Demant Fonden and Knud Højgaards Fond.


Special thanks to translator Sophus Helle for contributing to the process with his comprehensive knowledge of the historical figure Enheduana and for his kind support, as well as to the personnel at Thorvaldsens Museum for an excellent collaboration.



Dronning over Verdens Magter er en performativ fortolkning af et sumerisk langdigt skrevet af kongedatteren og ypperstepræstinden, Enheduana, den tidligst kendte forfatter i litteraturhistorien, som levede i Mesopotamien omkring 2300 fvt.

Visningen baserer sig på den første danske oversættelse af værket, der blev udgivet i 2020 på forlaget Uro og oversat af Sophus Helle med redaktion af Shëkufe Tadayoni Heiberg.

For 4300 år siden skrev verdenshistoriens første identificerede forfatter sine hymner til de sumeriske guder og gudinder. Enheduana var ypperstepræstinde i oldtidsbyen Ur i Mesopotamien, hvor hun fra sit tempel herskede over det åndelige og det politiske liv i byen.

Dronning over Verdens Magter, Enheduanas hovedværk, besynger og påkalder særligt gudinden Inanna, i håbet om hjælp til at bekæmpe de oprørere, der har fordrevet Enheduana fra Ur. Digtet er fuld af guddommelig vrede og kraftfuld kreativitet med et sprog, der både klinger klart og rummer en mystisk dybde, der vækker resonans helt frem til vor tid.

Dronning over Verdens Magter peger på, hvad der sker med mennesker i en eksistentiel krisetilstand, som Enheduana, der i langdigtet møder sin egen begrænsning efter at være blevet fordrevet fra sin by og sit embede af politiske oprørere. Hvad gør man, når man på den måde mister sit ståsted og sin sikkerhed? Hvor rækker man hen midt i afmagt og fortvivlelse? Og hvordan finder man nye veje i en strukturel verdensomvæltning? - krisespørgsmål, vi på mange måder nemt kan spejle os i, i dag, hvor vi som menneskehed på forskellig vis er fysisk og psykisk påvirket af både klimaforandringer, pandemi og en aktiv krig i Europa.

Dronning over Verdens Magter er en hyldest til en gudinde, der transcenderer godhed og ondskab, og som regerer over alt og alle med en utæmmet kaoskraft. På tværs af fire årtusinder taler digtet til os, og bringer en vild og befriende energi med sig.


Den historiske Enheduana

I sin samtid var Enheduana en fremtrædende figur. Som datter af Kong Sargon den Store af Akkad og Dronning Tashlultum blev hun indsat som ypperstepræstinde for måneguden Nanna i den vigtige by Ur i kongerigets sydlige del. Hun var den første kvinde, der bestred dette ærefulde og indflydelsesrige hverv, og fra sit tempel holdt hun guderne tilfredse, og fordelte arbejde og rigdomme blandt folket.

At det overhovedet er muligt at læse hendes ord i dag vidner om den berømmelse og status, hun havde i sin samtid. F.eks. blev hendes tekster i flere hundrede år brugt i de oldbabylonske skoler til undervisning i det uddøde sumeriske sprog - på samme måde, som der i Europa stadig undervises i latin i skoler og på universiteter.

Man kender til mere end 40 hymner skrevet til de sumeriske byers templer og guder af Enheduana. Og fordi der findes så mange lertavlekopier af hendes tekster, er det sandsynligt, at forskere i fremtiden vil finde nye og ukendte tekster af verdens første forfatter.


Bios

Danica Curcic (f. 1985) er en prisvindende dansk-serbisk skuespiller, som blev færdiguddannet fra Statens Scenekunstskole i 2012. Hendes arbejde omfatter flere danske og internationale film-, teater- og tv-produktioner. Curcic har gennem sin karriere modtaget adskillige priser og nomineringer for sine præstationer.

Samina Bazai (f. 1985) er en dansk-pakistansk billedkunstner, som blev uddannet fra Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi i 2014. Bazais kunstneriske praksis udfolder sig gennem performance, tekst, research og film. Hendes arbejde er forankret i en kontinuerlig undersøgelse og fremkaldelse af fortællingers iboende arv.

Stine Grøn (f. 1986) er en dansk sanger og komponist med en kandidat i komposition fra Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium i København. Grøns musikalske univers har en meditativ karakter med en både storslået og ekstatisk intimitet indlejret i sig. Hun er samtidig den ene halvdel af den anmelderroste musikgruppe IRAH.


Idé og oplæg til visningen er udviklet af kurator Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller, som en fortsættelse af den research, hun iværksatte gennem udstillingsprojektet Above the Sky, Beneath the Ground på SixtyEight Art Institute og Thorvaldsens Museum i efteråret 2021. Udstillingsprojektet omhandlede bl.a. klimaforandringer, nymaterialisme og animistiske verdenssyn.

Visningen Enheduana: Dronning over Verdens Magter er produceret af SixtyEight Art Institute og muliggjort med generøs støtte fra Thorvaldsens Museum, Golden Days, William Demant Fonden og Knud Højgaards Fond.


En særlig tak til oversætter Sophus Helle for at bidrage til processen med sin store viden om den historiske Enheduana samt for den venlige støtte og det gode samarbejde til personalet og administrationen på Thorvaldsens Museum.