I am a multidisciplinary artist from Bangalore, studied in MS University. Currently practicing in Bangalore, Karnaraka. My work has developed in number of ways over the years yet from the very beginning of my art practice, I have workded in Painting, Printmaking, Installation, Video Art and Live/ Performance art. My intention is to blend these mediums into an interdisciplinary language.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The artist as a shaman - Echoes or Shamanism

The artist as a shaman - Echoes or Shamanism
24.09.2018 | REVIEW - Nadeche Remst

Performance event  curated by Nina Boas and Ieke Trinks ( organized by PAE Performance Art Event ) 

Dimple B Shah, photo: MADS Photographic
Is there a better way to understand shamanism than to experience it? In the weekend event Echoes of Shamanism organized by PAE (Performance Art Event) at Zone2Source, artists and thinkers bend about ideas about shamanism in contemporary art practice by having everyone experience it.

Dimple B. Shah from India asks the audience to stand outside in a circle, hand in hand, to feel the other's pulses with our eyes closed. She starts by squeezing the person next to her, after which the intention is that the gesture goes around the entire circle and returns to Shah herself. In the end no one comes back to her. She closes by giving a wipe of turmeric to everyone's right hand. Nobody understands exactly what this is for, but her credibility ensures that it is accepted accepting as something meaningful.
Dimple B Shah Photography Konstantin Guz
In the exhibition space Irina Birger shows her video work The Book of Happiness and Sadnesssee. In the video she leafs through her sketchbook, while she talks about her experience during an Ayahuasca ceremony, a centuries-old ritual in the Amazon, that serves as a medicine for body and soul. In a monologue Birger talks about this psychedelic experience, in which different themes seem to come back, such as relationships with others, but also themselves. In brightly colored drawings geometric structures can be seen that raise questions about femininity and emancipation, while she tells how men and women separated from each other in a ceremony. And you always hear her ask her questions about the inevitable dependence of the sexes: "It is necessary to realize that the mission is still needed," says the voice-over.
Jasper Griepink Photo: MADS Photographic
What the artists share is the belief in the possibility of human transformation

Irina Briger Photograhy by Konstantin Guz 
Birger's work is about the relationship between the individual and the collective, about belonging to a group such as during the Ayahuasca ceremony, which ultimately falls apart after experiencing the spiritual journey. There is social criticism in it. In recent years, undergoing such a ceremony has increased in popularity. The search for your inner self by immersing yourself in rituals and traditions of indigenous cultures is a beloved activity, after which everyone returns to the individualist, capitalist society. Such social criticism can also be seen in the work of Jasper Griepink, with his project Ultra Ecosexual Polyamory. Permaculture ASAP(2017) gives a utopian answer to the interaction between man and nature. In the accompanying spoken word manifesto he encourages man to deter the established order (the degenerative system of capitalism) by making love with nature. He wants to restore the relationship between man and nature and also develop a regenerative system that enables nature to be able to restore itself. At a time when it appears that human action is destructive for the earth, this seems more than necessary.

On Friday, when the emphasis is on contextualizing shamanism in performance art, with a closing lecture by philosopher Fons Elders, the most important element seems to be missing: the experience of the performances. The Saturday afternoon is planned for this, with sometimes simultaneous performances by Irina Birger, Jasper Griepink, Kleoni Manoussakis, Dimple B Shah and Akuzuru Tala. As a visitor you become whether you want to or not on the path to transformation and emotional purification. In the Glass House of Zone2Source also installations by Jasper Griepink, Dimple B. Shah and Akuzuru Tala can be seen, which are (or will be) part of the performances. Irina Birger's office setting also looks like an installation, where a screen shows the continuous animation Ouroboros or What's Eating You(2016) shows - which Birger developed during her residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin for the series TOTALITARIAN (2017). Ouroboros is the Greek word for tail-eater: a snake that eats its own tail, creating an infinite circle, an age-old mythical symbol for infinity, as a metaphor for the human condition.

Irina Birger invites the visitors to take a seat in front of her. She talks to you for ten to fifteen minutes, where she almost acts as a therapist, asking about your personal frustrations. In the meantime Birger intuitively draws with chalk on a black A4 sheet, which later on the glass wall allows a series to be formed - as a representation of the diversity of individuals.

A completely white appearance appears between the green branches of a pine. Jasper Griepink moves gracefully through the man made city park. He plays with the branches and rubs them against his body in a sexual manner. I hear a child respond: "And I also hear a nice song!" This is in contrast to the strange looks he gets from people who happen to be walking through the park.
In the accompanying spoken word manifesto, Griepink urges people to deter the established order (the degenerative system of capitalism) by making love with nature.

Dimple B Shah Photography by Konstantin Guz 
Dimple B. Shah created in the dark exhibition space of the Glass House a performance called Negotiating Purity - Albedo (Encoutering Catharsis) , with rituals from Jainism . I end up in an area stunned by incense, where Shah has installed her tent wrapped in white cloth. Visitors are given the opportunity to experience a ritualistic process by sitting in the tent opposite her. The emphasis here is on the involvement of all five senses. She concludes with the request to make a figure from the side-by-side heaps of rice, as a step towards catharsis .

 Akuzuru, photo: MADS Photographic
The highlight is how Akuzuru Tala, A kuzuru, allows the visitor to experience a process of transformation. The artist from Trinidad and Tobago does not leave her inspiration of the Carnivals unnoticed. With the suit she wears and the sculptural white mask she becomes part of the installation in which she moves, makes charcoal figures, hits glass vials, sticks with sticks against sticks, while making experimental noises. Eventually she cuts loose from her installation and then keeps a procession out.

Echoes or Shamanism exudes a certain optimism, something that is not unimportant at the time of ubiquitous gloom about the developments in the Anthropocene. Not everyone seems to be ready to make love with nature, but in a kind of trance they leave the Amstelpark.

Echoes of Shamanism , organized by PAE (Performance Art Event), Zone2Source, 14 - 16 September 2018, with Irina Birger, Jasper Griepink, Kleoni Manoussakis, Dimple B Shah, A kuzuru and Fons Elders.

Nadeche Remst
is a trainee at Metropolis M

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