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  • Raegan Rubin

INSIDE THE GARDEN OF THE WHITE FAIRIES


Image credit: Ieva Petrauskaitė | @eva_petr__
"In an ancient, dark and magical world, the threads of ancestral memories intertwine to narrate a story of discovery, adaptation and transformation."

Black eyed, snarling and terrifying in head-to-toe latex, La Eslovena AKA Rodrigo Camino Lorenzini closed the Winter solstice with a love letter to Slovenian mythology. Transforming London's Horse Hospital into a nightmarish wilderness, he rasped a first-person monologue based on his unpublished book FWYRG (pronounced "fíorg"), and its cacophony of cerebral short stories and mythological figures. The performance, The Garden of the White Fairies, focused on a horned white goat and the guardian of the valley.


Lapsing between English and the Madrid performer's native Spanish, the monologue followed the creature's birth and immediate abandonment in the woods. The audience was plunged into a chasm of absent "love and identity" as visceral memories and overwhelming desires eclipsed one another. Gradually however, the goat took strength from his chaotic surroundings and found his way through the dark to "self-discovery and evolution."



Video: Ieva Petrauskaitė @eva_petr__

"We tried to show a monster that's trying to get to a higher self," said La Eslovena, who wore an ensemble costume of latex, spikes and ethereal headgear. He underscored the performance with feral shrieks and a black and red film montage projecting sinister scenes of nature. There was twisted forestry, a glowing full moon and pulsating embryos among other surreal footage. Altogether, they gave descriptions of suffering, impulse and survival, a raw and primordial context.


Photography: Ieva Petrauskaitė @eva_petr__


Alongside La Eslovena's otherworldly movements and words, the multi-sensory experience involved industrial techno beats and neon lights clothed in smoke. In some ways, both the music and book was a reflection of his own self-exploration. "The book began with me trying to explore the darkness inside," said the performer. As for his 'La Eslovena' persona, it offered an opportunity for him to dress up and flourish on the fringes of Madrid's Fetish community. "And then I came across Slovenian mythology, and was inspired," he said. "I thought, this is my chance to dress the way I want on stage and honour some incredible stories."


The Garden of the White Fairies preceded another piece that was performed in Madrid last year. "It followed the journey of a Slovenian fairy from her magical home to modern Madrid," said La Eslovena. "After she experienced love and complete destruction, she burst forth into a more sophisticated, warm and powerful woman." While both shows shared similar notions of love and humanism, it's the idea of rebirth from destruction that undoubtedly struck a chord with audiences.



Photography: Ieva Petrauskaitė @eva_petr__


Although mythology operates beyond our earthly realm, it's very much a sociological endeavour. In many ways, our fascination with fantasy and escapism derives from the desire to know or elevate our own beings. It's where social constructs are often ripped away, and our innermost wants and fears are exposed. La Eslovena's performance embodied this soulful vulnerability brilliantly, bluntly reminding us of the desires that make us human, and the importance of embracing our internal darkness.


 

Raegan Rubin is London-based freelance journalist specialised in art and fashion history, subcultures, social justice, sustainability, LGBTQ+ and Fetish culture.

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