Bona Dea
Opening Lonely Planet by Susan Kooi
Sunday December 4th 2016
Sunday 4 December, 4 - 7 PM
With contributions by: 
Susan Kooi
On Sunday 4 December from 4 pm, Susan Kooi’s solo exhibition "Lonely Planet" opens at Showroom MAMA. This presentation is the first part of a triptych, for which Susan travelled to Campania, a region in Southern Italy which is known by the Romans as "Campania Felix" or "fertile countryside". At the opening we will celebrate a mysterious festival in honour of Bona Dea, the Roman goddess of fertility.
For the first part of "Lonely Planet", Susan worked at the Fornace Falcone terracotta works, visited the ancient Greek ruins of Paestum, searched for objects in Naples, and found ancient graffiti in Pompeii. At MAMA, Susan exhibits objects she found and poetically reconstructed. The objects are brought to life during several re-enactments during the exhibition.

At the opening we will celebrate a mysterious festival in honour of Bona Dea, the Roman goddess of Fertility, linked to Terra, Ops, the Magna Mater, Ceres, and Fauna. Her festival was celebrated in the Roman Empire on the 4th of December. On this day, the house where the celebration took place was ritually cleansed of all male persons and presences, male animals and male portraiture. Then the house was decorated with vine leaves and plants, except for myrtle, whose presence and naming were expressly forbidden. It was a women-only banquet with female musicians, fun, games, and wine; the last was euphemistically referred to as "milk", and its container as a "honey jar". The rites sanctified the temporary removal of customary constraints imposed on Roman women of all classes and backgrounds by Roman tradition.

During our opening and the Bona Dea celebration, men are very welcome, provided that they behave in a respectful way. Carbonised and preserved foods from Pompeii are reconstructed into edible snacks served during the opening banquet. Additionally, Bacchus will be serving “milk” and “honey”.

Simultaneously, this festive event functions as the launch for the accompanying publication “Lonely Planet - Campania Felix”, featuring contributions by
Maurits de Bruijn, Hanna Bervoets, Vincent Hunink, Tommi Vasko, Marloes de Vries, Nathalie Hartjes, and Susan Kooi. The publication will be published by Jap Sam Books and is for sale in MAMA’s showroom and through our website.