Natalia Sorzano - Contesting Madness, 2018-2021


10/09/2021 — 05/12/2021

Who Wants to Live in a World Without Magic?

In many cultures and eras, the traditions of shamans, mystics and other healers who can change our consciousness are closely intertwined with the making of art and with sound and music in particular. In this time of planetary crises, imagining recovery processes, using cosmic consciousness and sound, can help us find ways in which we can collectively grieve and heal.

The works in the exhibition and the event program invite us to imagine our interdependence with the surrounding material world and the metaphysical domain in other ways. The artists bring magical world views to life through intimate, poetic and speculative stories. They use magic in an ongoing exploration of sensations that transcend any limited definition of the term and manifest themselves in material traces, vocabularies and imagery, and in sound and music. With critical imagination, energy transfer and ritual actions, the artists navigate through the past, present and future. The works have different backgrounds: from enchanting narratives to autobiographical elements, local perspectives and depictions from the diaspora. What binds them is a belief in a world where duality no longer plays a role.

In that capacity, some works deal with dominant narratives of science and history that have influenced our environment. They explore ways in which we can rearrange and revise narratives and practices of centuries of exploitation. Other works rest on the idea that loss, suffering and hardship will not come to an abrupt end, but that with alchemy we can reshape them into something new, creating space for other, new forms of growth. Together, the artists invite us to experience sensory, auditory and magical experiences that show us how less individualistic forms of loss and healing can look, feel and sound.

CACHE/SPIRIT, a project by electroduo Animistic Beliefs (Marvin Lalihatu and Linh Luu) and visual artist Jason Drenth, addresses issues of bi-culturalism, inherited family trauma, and identity in the digital age. The conversations between the artists that preceded the work are embedded in the local Rotterdam context. The installation is a sensory and spatial experience of images and language, and of listening forms that simultaneously fascinate, challenge and invite reflection. The installation by Animistic Beliefs and Jeisson Drenth can be seen from September 10 to October 23.

Also Natalia Sorzano's work Contesting Madness is embedded in the local Rotterdam context. The starting point of the installation is an exchange between people from different bi-cultural backgrounds. In doing so, Sorzano's work explores dominant and colonial 'scientific' perceptions of mental well-being and illness, in order to shed light on grief processes and healing practices that have long been in the twilight zone of institutionalized Western conceptions of mental health.

In Mehraneh Atashi's Seeding My Feet in the Chant of Bells, the garden full of black-eyed beans and the suggested presence of a gardener evoke a personal and poetic form of animism. The plants may be rooted in local soil, but their seed carries histories and memories of migration. The beans grow on the vibrations of the universe and are thus linked to a cyclical ecosystem of death and new life.

The Dust of Venus by Anna Hoetjes consists of clay tablets that have the same chemical composition as Venus, often regarded as the 'sister planet' of the Earth. The inscriptions on the tablets refer to ancient star charts from different cultures. The glaze on Aphrodite Terra's tiles refers to the color spectrum technique used by the first female space pioneers to analyze the light of stars.

With the work As Far as Eye Can See builds Shertise Solano to an ever-changing world full of frenzied and mythical figures that seem to move endlessly in an infinite universe. It is a world without a specific time or place, without beginning or end.

Attempts for Refuge, the monumental clay sculptures of Narges Mohammadic, contains traces of important places and memories from the artist's childhood. Carefully applied to large wooden structures consisting of the hollow of a corridor and a tower of mattresses, the clay has traces of the meditative energy transfer between the artist and the material.

Finally brings Well Ling Hu with a series of individual drawings come to life a magical world in which people are united with the mystical truths of nature.

The exhibition is accompanied by an online and live program of small-scale meetings, performances and podcasts that invite participation and discussion, and think further along the track set by the artworks in the exhibition. Participants include Morning School en Raoni Muzho Saleh.

Keep our website and social media and that of TENT Rotterdam keep an eye out for more information.