Photos by Lindsay Keys.

The Mystery Map

The Mystery Map

I chose a series of sites in NYC to be photographed with as I performed public demonstrations, activating my own reading of these sites and the way I feel that they speak to feminist oracular culture and the healing arts. 

The Bethesda Fountain sculpture was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1868, the first public commission for a major work of art in New York City to be granted to a woman. Emma Stebbins was in a public partnership at that time with actress Charlotte Cummins, whom she nursed while Cummins was dying of breast cancer. 

In Tony Kushner’s AIDS-themed play Angels in America, the statue formed the backdrop of the final scene of the Perestroika section.

In the Hermetic mystery tradition, statues were seen as meeting places for interaction with divine energies, where healing energies could be channeled and embodied on Earth / given form. 

I am spelling this fountain out as a monument to queer love and its healing capabilities. 

For years, since I first started visiting New York City, I have been haunted by the Dakota Apartments, gravitating toward them and checking in with their energy often. They are of course notorious for being the site of John Lennon’s murder, and the current residence of Yoko Ono, Witch.

They were also the setting for Rosemary’s Baby, which I view as a fable about spiritual interference in women’s lives and the horror of patriarchal spiritual authority.

The last image you will have to guess at my meaning, although it is plain to see. It is something that popped into my head once, and that I later wrote on my arm, and then it found its way to this poster.