Madame Anna is here

Paris 1938-war is imminent. Henry Miller mails his manuscript ‘ Open Letter to Surrealists Everywhere’ to his old friend, Emil Schnellock, for safe keeping. Emil receives the letter while living in Fredricksburg, Virginia where he has just started teaching art history and painting at Mary Washington College. He uses a letter opener so as not to disturb the seal on the back- a business sticker for Madame Anna.

Madame Anna env crop

Madame Anna will see you now, is an installation which imagines Madame Anna’s influence on Miller and his artist colleagues, including me. The audio-video montage of Madame Anna is projected into an open armoire situated in a surreal hotel room with related drawings, documents and photos of love, art and war- the inner war as well as the world wars. Her musings on life are that of a medium, one who lives and makes a living in the borderlands of the seen and unseen worlds, tapping into the future to answer the age old questions of her clients- why am I here, what’s going to happen next. Her French voice is interspersed with a reading from Miller’s Open Letters to Surrealists Everywhere, page 34-35 where he predicts the future and the coming  Age of Aquarius.

“By the year 2000AD we will be completely under the sway of Uranus and Saturn. …We shall be breaking ground for the new anarchy which will come in with the advent of the new zodiacal sign , Aquarius, circa 2160 AD. ….The meaning of destiny is to throw away the truss which the zodiacal belt represents and to live it out ad hoc and post rem. That is what Breton means when he says with apocalyptic precision:”We should carry ourselves as though we were really in the world!”  “
madame anna installation armoire2images-1

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