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Shamanic Visions Expo at Quai Branly

The exhibition explores current challenges linked to the links between hallucinatory images and iconographic creations, based on the case of the ayahuasca drink.

If ayahuasca – meaning "creeper of the deceased" in Quechua – has captivated the Western imagination for only half a decade, marking its rise thanks to the Beat Generation, this hallucinogenic drink occupies a central position in the social life of various indigenous communities in the western Amazon.

Date: From Tuesday November 14, 2023 to Sunday May 26, 2024

Desires: Primitive art, iconography, audacity

Traditionally consumed in a shamanic context, mainly for therapeutic or divinatory purposes, this "psychedelic" is also closely associated with artistic expression. The "visions" or hallucinations it generates are often considered a major source of inspiration by indigenous artists of the Peruvian Amazon.

The exhibition offers an overview of the various contemporary representations of these "visionary images" caused by ayahuasca. From the sophisticated iconography and geometric of the Shipibos-Konibos to the literary (William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg) and audiovisual (Jan Kounen) creations of the 20th and 21st centuries, it offers a real immersion in an art influenced.

Shamanic Visions at Quai Branly
Shamanic Visions at Quai Branly

What is shamanism?

Shamanism refers to a set of ancestral ritual practices, often associated with indigenous spiritual traditions. Shamans, central figures in these traditions, play the role of intermediaries between the visible and invisible world. These practices, infused with mystical beliefs, may include healing rituals, spiritual journeys, and interactions with spiritual entities. Shamanism, although often associated with indigenous cultures, also attracts contemporary attention as a subject of ethnological and spiritual study.

From a literary point of view, shamanism represents a rich source of inspiration for exploring the boundaries between the tangible and the intangible, the natural and the supernatural. Literary writings on shamanism often explore the relationship between man and the divine, delving into the transcendental experiences of shamans. These stories can shed light on the spellbinding rituals, mystical visions and inner conflicts of shamanism practitioners...

Artistically, shamanism inspires the creation of works that explore the spiritual and ritual dimensions of this ancient practice. Artists draw on shamanic symbols, rituals and experiences to create unique visual expressions. Paintings, sculptures, installations, performances and other artistic forms often capture the mystical aesthetic and deep connection between man and the cosmos characteristic of shamanism. Shamanic art, whether traditional or contemporary, thus becomes a means of expressing the spiritual quest, visions and links with the spiritual world, while offering the viewer an immersion in a metaphysical reality.

Date: From Tuesday November 14, 2023 to Sunday May 26, 2024

Desires: Primitive art, iconography, audacity

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