A Selene Blues 2020

Giulia Essyad

Salle 1, vues de l’exposition A Selene Blues, Fri Art, 2020

Présentoirs en carton, t-shirts, emballages, popcorn, barrière extensible,

LED, moquette, désodorisant parfumé au pop-corn, dimensions variables

Courtesy Fri Art Kunsthalle

Photo © Guillaume Python

My dear Ina,

How are you? Here’s a written letter, so herstorical! Have you ever held one before? Ask mom if you need help reading.

Here at the Moonaster, I’m surrounded by such things: letters, books and even bots that you have to r​ead from. ​Makes my brains boil. Moonbots are not allowed here, nor is any other telepathic technology, not until we go on the pilgrimage. At first I wanted to send you a voicemail, but isn’t it more fun to pretend it’s, like, the middle ages and we have to ​write​ to communicate? I’m inspired by all the strange things I read here. I need to find a way to still have fun. It is so ​silent​ here. It made me realize how teletech keeps us from ever being alone, for better or worse.
Don’t get me wrong, I think our bots are…everything. I do miss my Lalita so much. But there are thoughts I would have never had if she had been here with me. Things I would not have learned. Or cared to learn.

At least the food here is glorious, and the doorways are grand, and in the mornings, we sing in a huge room, and the reverb of all our voices makes my body tingle, and my head feels light and ecstatic, like a crystal bell ringing from a cascade of pearls. It’s really something.

Reverb is when sound is thrown against a wall and bounces back into your ear, layering beautifully. Like in that cave, remember? The one we swam to last summer. Or when you scream at a cliff.

Please give my love to mom, and keep some for yourself.

Your sister,



Dear diary,

In the book section of the archive, I found an artifact that was written in this way. As though the book were a person, someone to talk to. To write to. And since I feel so lonely here, without my bot, I thought I’d try it out. I’ll use this notepad as some kind of archaic teletech. Inert and unresponsive, but mine.

Dear diary,

Last year, in the fall, I bled.

I’m scared. I will not show it, but it’s true. From the moment I found the blood, I knew I was on the cusp of radical change. Playtime is over: it reminds me of the moment when, having practiced calligraphy for months with a pencil, we were given ink pens.

And I was given a pack and sent on the path. Everymoon must go on a Pilgrimage… I have to confront myself to Nature in her rawest form, they said. I need to know Her. It’s the only way to know for sure that I won’t carry shards of girlhood into my Womoonhood.
Those shards would distract me, give me trouble. ​We need rites​, I was told.

So, I was sent here to change: study what’s to be known and prepare for the long walk. It’s a beautiful place, which I can appreciate. I always dreamt of living in a castle and the Moonaster’s pink walls of thick stone are as close to it as it gets. This place feels ancient and very solid. I feel so mortal, living in stone buildings, more than back home in our houses of wood and clay. These stones will certainly outlive me, and whereas our house feels like it serves our family, here, I serve the stones. Or whatever they ​stand for.

Dear diary, I digress, but really, I’ve got no one to talk to, to truly tell all the new things I’ve been feeling. Of course, I wrote letters to Ina, but rarely got an answer. Here’s how my days go: up at sunrise, I rinse my face at the fountain in the yard and join all the Womoon and other girls to sing. Before the sun reaches the top of the sky, we serve the food, eat, then clean the kitchens. After that comes the actual study. What we learn changes from day to day: sometimes we go on long walks to observe Her and learn directly from Her source; sometimes, we sit in the library and go over artifacts, books, and so on. There’s a lot of sitting involved, eyes closed, hands on the body. I’ve learned how to pray, dear diary, and it is phenomenal.
When it’s done, I escape to one of my favorite places, a little spice garden just outside the tall wall of the ‘stery, where there is a pretty view of the lake, or, if it’s rainy, between some spiraling columns in the cloister.
There I touch myself, or, as I’m doing now, sit down to write.​ We need rites.


Later, same day

Dear Diary,

That’s just one of the many things that went awry in the Middle Ages. They lost all connection to any kind of rite and grown persons went on about their lives with shards of girlhood tearing them apart from the inside and the pain caused them to make stupid decisions on a daily basis. Like poisoning their water and so on.*

I read about this in some diaries in the archive. I know I should have kept my focus on life techniques, how to keep cool in the heat and which bark to eat, because my time here is limited and I must get ready for my Pilgrimage. Soon I will be on my own, on a path for months. Not even a bot to assist me. Just a pack and your silent, sorry page recording my lonely thoughts. But herstory fascinates me, and this was my chance to discover more of it. Where else was I to learn about funny words like “person”, “father” and “sex”?

There is so much I don’t know.

All the Womoon walked, before they were Womoon, and we say the land made them. Once a girl starts bleeding, the rite begins. Every house does it their way, with different customs, but there are common threads. Bleeding does not a Womoon make; it only means one is ready to learn, ready to go to a moonaster to study with older Womoon. Everything surrounding our bleeding is very important. Many teachings come from it. We learn to care for plants and for ourselves, how each quarter of the cycle should be spent. Read the pain, what it may mean. Everything means something. We learn that we are tiny parts of Her, and how to live on Her. In some of the bigger Moonasters, there are archives with diaries and artifacts. I am lucky. But knowing herstory won’t save you out there, in Her wild embrace.

When you’ve bled a few times, sometimes a whole year after you’ve left your home, the actual Pilgrimage starts. The Full Mother of the Moonaster decides where you go or should aim to go. Keep in mind, sweet diary of mine, that you might get lost or killed anywhere on the path! Anyway, you’re attributed a Moonery or another Moonaster to pilger to. Your way, you’ll have to make it there.

Now, off I go. Write you later, my dear diary.

*Ancient word for Womoon, used by those who wanted to address ​both sexes​ at the same time. I’m not sure what sexes are.