AMENRA and the Church of Ra are known for pushing boundaries with music and art, so it makes perfect sense that they teamed up with one of the most prolific and boundary-pushing skin artists, Little Swastika, for a music and tattoo collaboration and series of performances over the course of April 9th to 12th. The series consisted of an ongoing art exhibition at Gallery Box in Berlin, running until the 26th, and five events featuring the band and the artist – two “tattoorituals” where Little Swastika, Gerhard Wiesbeck (Time Travelling Tattoo) and Freak Mike (Psyland) tattooed three back pieces inspired by Church of Ra artwork live to a live music ritual from both the Church of Ra and Amenra; a “suspensionritual” on stage at an Amenra show; a live presentation of The Amenra Project artwork and a live painting presentation. It was a huge undertaking for all involved, and it was a huge success, showcasing some of the most moving and important artwork coming out of Europe’s underground right now. You can buy prints from The Amenra Project from Little Swastika here, and if you haven’t yet watch the Little Swastika documentary we sponsored, Ink, Blood & Spirit, do so here. We asked Amenra’s Colin H Van Eeckhout some questions about the event, and this is what he told us:
Can you speak on what inspired this project?
One second of eye contact.
There is a similarity in what we do. In and with our lives.
We both believe that there is a necessity in keeping ritualistic ways alive. We truly believe they still have an important place and impact on our existence now. To help us all understand life’s ways and put things in another more spiritual perspective.
It can be used to mark important moments in life, and make them more significant in their, and our, being.
We started talking about a way to connect both of our worlds in the best possible way. So we ended up with the biggest band tattoos ever and the ritual it all started with, the O kee pa.
We, with AMENRA, have always been drawn close to the modern primitive movement. Body modification and suspension have played a central role in our forming. Without that, we would not be what we are now.
I first shook his hand after a concert of ours in Karlsruhe, Germany. And from then on we kept in contact. Sometimes the connection is already there, and it only needs one second of eye contact to flourish.
Do you feel that this collaboration worked out the way you imagined it would?
I think it turned out greater than I wished it would. The work Little Swastika, Mike and Gerhard did was out of this world. I could never have dreamed of our band being a part of a tattoo ritual of this magnitude. The sacrifice of flesh to our cause, the pain suffered and the trust that has been put in our musical and spiritual endeavor was boundless.
I will always remember the sound of their tattoo guns in our music and between the songs. To me, it made more sense than ever to have them there with us.
Tell us about the energy in the room while the ritual was taking place?
The energy in the room was of an unexplainable nature. It is the kind that is felt, not described.
Will Amenra and Little Swastika work together again in the future?
That is certain.