Per Aspera ad Astra, 2017 
performance, installation, flags
Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum of Contemporary Art,
Historische Halle, Berlin

Per Aspera ad Astra stems from an off-site performance Who is the Shaman who stole the stars? held in New York in 2010 and is based on the artist’s exploration of facets of the artist’s role as intermediary. Timea Anita Oravecz is inspired by shamanic beliefs, such as a form of Tengriism. Ingrained in Hungarian culture, Tengriism is a shamanistic religion common among the early Turkic, Uralic and Mongol people that lived a nomadic lifestyle. Modern shamans believe it is possible to put humanity back in touch with nature, the earth and the stars, healing not only individuals but also accomplishing global harmony.
As an artistic intervention at the Hamburger Bahnhof, the artist cuts out the astral symbols—the iconic stars, planets and suns—from a number of national flags and releases them back into the sky, sending them off with balloons to where they belong. This gesture liberates the symbols from any political use or connotation. Only the artist or modern Shaman, per the artist’s argument, driven by utopian ambition and by virtue of a state of non-belonging, is able to overturn conventions and constraints to convey new visions that transcend political and economic models.
The performance is an open-minded invitation and search for yet un-thought solutions to gaining global harmony and a happier life on earth.