Psychic Tequila Tarot

interactive performance in a car, USA/Germany, 1996-1998

Visitors are invited to enter a car decorated with Christmas-lights and plastic flowers. Inside they are welcomed by the character of "Leila," who asks the visitor to think of an important personal question and to draw one of ten different self-made Tarot cards. The card has an inscription of signs and letters written with black marker on a grey piece of cardboard. Leila interprets the inscription as a recipe for a tequila cocktail and as a problem-solving strategy. Her interpretation and the drink that goes along with it serve as the answer to the unspoken question.

Leila’s behavior in the interaction is determined by a specific program, from which she derives her answers and reactions. As outlined in the film Psychic Tequila Tarot, her program has to do with constructing a character completely devoid of a will of her own and with the Christian commandment to love one’s neighbor. Leila’s specific gestures, look, and appearance refer directly to North American pop culture and subcultures in the 1990s, particularly to esoteric practices, images of women, and show business in California and Nevada. As a migrant, Leila speaks American English with a German accent.

Psychic Tequila Tarot

Isabell Spengler as "Leila", exhibition "16 Rippen", curated by Barbara Stauss, Schwules Museum Berlin, 1998, Foto: Heike Ollertz

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