Thursday, September 5, 2019

Why Shamanism Is Making a Comeback in Contemporary Art

Saya Woolfalk, An Empathic Preparing to Paint Images from the Book Empathetic Plant Alchemy (Jillian), 2011. Copyright Saya Woolfalk, courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York.
“Everyone always talks about how, in times of crisis, people start looking for God,” says Canadian, Berlin-based artist Jeremy Shaw. The artist’s interest in the universal desire for spiritual life, a yearning for some higher power or intelligence, or to “reach for something beyond,” as he puts it, has led him to some interesting places. Saya Woolfalk’s Empathics present both a utopian picture of a deep and molecular form of empathy toward other people and a dystopian counter-picture of corporate exploitation and cultural appropriation—when meaningful practices become commodified and lose their real, non-monetary value in the world. [More]