Shamanism is a universal phenomenon that relates to humanity’s relationship to art and spirituality through nature with its roots in the cultures of indigenous peoples. Yet the term is increasingly used in a wider context to en- compass many aspects of alternative healing and creative practice.
It could be argued that nowadays artists have taken over the role of the shaman to see beyond the domain of everyday reality to the realms of the metaphysical. Like art, shaman- ism is a calling, a means of exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness as if in com- munion with an external force or ‘spirit’. Making a work of art can similarly involve a pro- cess of metamorphosis, insights, visions and dreams, in a quest for life’s deeper meaning. Both art and shamanism use the realm of metaphor to express feeling. As the visionary artist Joseph Beuys (1921-86) said, “through shamanism, I refer to the fatal character of the times we live in. But at the same time I also point out that the fatal character of the present can be overcome in the future.” The project is intended to evoke the audience’s connection to the natural world and to feel part of an all-inclusive collective vision of our ancestor’s bond with nature. It offers a platform to raise their awareness and respect for nature and inspire their personal activism to effect change.
The participating artists have been selected from a diverse range of backgrounds in order to offer a broad survey of the subject. It includes both emerging and established artists with cultural roots from as far afield as Central and South East Asia, North America and the Caribbean. The show comprises installation, video work, sculpture, photography and paint- ing and will have a program of accompanying events including a related symposium and shaman inspired performances and rituals.
Events Programme - TBC
Image of Shaman, 2017 / Print on plexi, wood, stainless steel / 213 x 153 x 10 cm / © Koen Vanmechelen
Selia Ka Tung
Eloïse Van der Heyden
Sandra Vásquez de la Horra
Walter & Zoniel