The Seraph and The Oracle

Musical performance, 2022
Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana, SI
Peter Weiss Haus, Rostock, DE

The Seraph and The Oracle is an intimate performance evoking a moist dreamscape of Istanbul’s herstorical peninsula from inside a soft, voluptuous, feminine body.

In 324, when Constantine I chose a perky Bosphorus town to be his namesake imperial capital—thus establishing a precedent of narcissistic male hegemony which would continue to place the city in pickle after pickle—he brought with him the Oracle of Delphi’s Serpent Column as an architectural crown jewel. As various empires swelled and deflated, the migrant Serpent Column and the coveted Hagia Sophia eyeballing each other, got their feet kissed by each new conquerer—until suddenly the column disappeared in the 18th century, under circumstances bulging with mystery.

The performance reimagines the Seraph of Hagia Sophia and the Oracle of Delphi as lustful brunettes from the city with ever so many deadnames; who narrate in verse, song and rap, a sibylline assortment of past and future affairs that come to a leg-shaking climax with the fall of the patriarchy.

The musky-scented evening hides many surprises under her clitoral hood: an interactive oracular procedure with offerings of Lila Steinkampf’s sweet edible sculptures; Lugh O’Neill’s sizzling, slithering, swallowing soundscapes and compositions reworking folk melodies from Thrace, mixed live each evening by Mads Kristian Frøslev; and lush garments by Maldoror and Olivia Ballard 3 that tastefully flirt with Hellenic and Orthodox Christian references. The story is loosely based on an epic poem written by Selin Davasse and Zoë Claire Miller.


Lila Steinkampf

Sound composition
Lugh O’Neill
Mads Kristian Frøslev

Olivia Ballard

Story writing
Selin Davasse
Zoë Claire Miller

Song titles PDF