Photo: Miha Godec

In Posse: Female Sperm and the Festival of Thesmophoria Vol. 1

// in English //

Three-day retreat for women, trans and non-binary persons: 9–11 October 2019 in the woods. Obligatory application and information:

Public performance: 12 October 2019 at 20.00 at the Kapelica Gallery (women, trans and non-binary persons only)


In Posse: Female Sperm is a project by artist Charlotte Jarvis, comprising several years. With the assistance of scientist Susane Chuva de Sousa Lopes and her colleagues from the Leiden University (NL), the team develops women’s sperm from the artist’s fat tissue. The artistic part of the project tackles the civilisation semantics of human sperm, which has throughout history acquired the status of a metaphysical, almost magical symbol of power and dominance. The project In Posse as a whole is being developed as part of technological, biological, creative and cultural activism.  

In the first part of the several-year project, the artist develops a collective female form of semen in which her cells can live, transformed by scientists via a special biotechnological procedure from fat cells to pluripotent cells (which is the starting stage in the development of cells that will, during the next steps, develop towards sperm cells). The conclusion of the first project part will be formed as a collective, performative re-creation of the mysterious Ancient Greek fertility festival Thesmophoria, at the time performed exclusively by women. 

For the performative part of the project, Charlotte Jarvis is inviting a group of women, trans and non-binary persons to take part and resurrect the Thesmophoria festival after two millennia of cultural regression. The In Posse project will be used by the participants as a starting point for the three-day creative drafting of a theme ritual. The “witches’ coven” will work and create at the Kersnikova Institute and explore the wilderness in a rented cottage near Ljubljana. In the BioTechna laboratory, they will use a small quantity of their own blood to produce women’s semen, while in the gallery and cottage, they will make music, design costumes and practice choreographies. They will cook and feast, light fires and dance under the moon. The key part of the retreat will be the debates by which they will try to formulate the world in which women’s sperm would be equal to men’s. The women’s community is to collectively decide at the end of the retreat who and which part of the process they wish to share at the 25th International Festival of Contemporary Arts – City of Women (12 October at 20.00 at the Kapelica Gallery).

Free entrance.


Produced by: Kapelica Gallery (Kersnikova Institute) in co-operation with: City of Women; scientific collaboration: Prof. Susana M. Chuva de Sousa Lopes (Leiden University Medical Center), Kristijan Tkalec; expert assistance: Vesna Sekelj Rangus; supported by: Ministry of Culture, City of Ljubljana.

Date and time of event: 
Oct 12th 20:00
Place of event: 
Kapelica Gallery