Die Weinende (The Weeping Woman)


Stefan Winter
Die Weinende (The Weeping Woman) — 2014

Sound Sculpture
(Continuous loop in a 10 minute sequence)

The basis for this work is the legend of La Llorona, told in different versions around Latin-America. In Mexico the story exists for the longest period of time. The earliest version dated from before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. The Azteks told the legend of a woman’s cries in the middle of the night, whose fate is to wander restlessly and mourn the loss of her son and her own life. She is called Chocacíhuatl – taken from the aztec choka (to cry) and cihuatl (woman). She is supposed to be the first mother of mankind, who died at the birth of her son. Therefore the fleshless skulls of Chocacíhuatl and her son float in the rivers around the world, searching for wandering souls whose paths were surrounded by the darkness. Every mortal they meet on their way is in danger of misfortune or even death.
Over the centuries many variations of La Llorona emerged from country to country. The best known and most common story in Mexico talks about a charming woman – sometimes depicted as a Mestiza – who was in love with a nobleman from Spain. The fruits of their passion were three sons, who the mother thoroughly loved and cared for. But the man refused to offer her the wedding ring and later left his beloved one to marry a Spanish-born woman. When she learned about that, she murdered her three sons out of pain and despair and then drowned herself, incapable of living with the guilt. Since that day, her lamentation arises from the river where she took her own life away.

Object and soundscape: Stefan Winter
Cello and voice: Ernst Reijseger
Sound engineer: Adrian von Ripka
Photos © Winter & Winter
Front photo © http://www.hansbuttermilch.de/

Kunsthalle Rathausgalerie Munich, Germany
Group exhibition »Singing Sculptures«
June/July, 2014

Le Rocher de Palmer
Cenon / Bordeaux, France
Single exhibition
March 2015