SPELLBOUND - International Group Exhibition

Opening of the international group exhibition Spellbound: October 5th, 2011 at 8 pm with the performances of the following artists: Hrafnhildur Benediktsdóttir, Milijana Babic, Nathália Mello, Lana Zdravkovic (Kitch), Nina Thilas-Mohs with Alicia F.

Spellbound is a group exhibition of international artists whose work gazes into the understanding, experience and influences of the world through magic, the mysterious art of altering realities either by supernatural forces or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to mainstream science. The incantation of language through image brings to this viewing space a conjuring of perceptions. It offers the magical doctrine of cosmic sympathy between things visible and things invisible; each rendering is a glimpse into the now and the tomorrows of illusions of both the present and the future.

Practised since ancient times, yet often viewed with suspicion and disbelief, magic is frequently exercised in isolation and secrecy, veiled in symbols and allegory. It holds within it the echoes of the belief that while it is fascinating, the more in-depth the study, the darker and more dangerous it is perceived to be.

Then again – regardless of its mystery – to many, magic is the only source of spiritual guidance and hope, especially in times of crisis, difficulty and distress. It proffers the double image, where inner reality and outer reality come together in a unique meeting point, where single-image perception has, up to then, left humans vulnerable. They suffer, hurt and ache. In their “desidaimonia” (fear of supernatural powers and magic), being spellbound becomes the only explanation for the unknown.

When medicine fails to find a cure for a fatal disease, one might go to a healer in the hope of recovery. When the present is failing, jobs are lost and the future appears more and more uncertain, when there are no answers to anguish, pain and suffering, one turns to those who hold the knowledge, who might just be able to break the spell: fortune tellers, shamans, gurus and clairvoyants. What magic lies in their knowledge? Do they act as the ancient magi did? Do they pretend to be gods in order to set fear into the hearts of the real deities so that they will indeed perform or channel through them, as only they may hold that vital key to inner peace and understanding. Are they looking into the hearts and souls of single-image humans or double-image situations?

The world is in crisis. Western-style economies are collapsing. Poverty and hunger are spreading like a terminal disease, unstoppable and incurable. Old wars and conflicts are raging. Climate is changing uncontrollably. Democracies are failing and human rights are continuously violated while freedoms (of choice, speech, expression, existence) fade in a desperate bid for quick profit, self-indulgent greed and an effort to control the downward spiralling contentment and decreasing social order. New restrictive laws are implemented (daily) – by governments that once promised prosperity and liberty. More money is wasted on wars and “security” than is spent on well-being, social welfare, culture and learning. Is this the beginning of an apocalyptic present? Could this be the end of the world? Or is it simply the end of the present order? What will the future bring? Is there a future at all?

With this in mind, Spellbound has been created as an artistic attempt to call upon alternative visions of the future filled with dreams, fantasy, wonder and bewilderment; uncanny and mysterious reality, where nightmares and horror will end happily, enchanted by the flickering light of hope and prosperity. One may mistake rite for religious ritual, but then perhaps close attention is not being paid to the detail that clearly defines and differentiates. What else is magic and being spellbound other than the epitome of action and reaction in this universe? It is magic that both affects and effects control. Each symbol within calls not for protection from this world, but looks to harness the power of good and evil to achieve goals and destinies. These images hold the attitude of assumption to a supernatural identity, leaving the viewer to question which side of the double image they are seeing. Magical power and spells are held in words. Images evoke those language patterns within, and each rite and gesture assures mystical devotion. Take care of what you form in mind when you open your eyes to see. [Predrag Pajdic]