By WILLIAM J. WRIGHT
In 1944, firebrand occultist Aleister Crowley put forth a philosophy and a call to action in his famed tarot treatise The Book of Thoth, defining magick as “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will.” With these words, the founder of Thelema and so-called “wickedest man alive” outlined, in plain English, stripped of all esoteric trappings, transformation as the core of the shamanic journey. That sacred union of art and science in the name of transformation is the beating heart of a new photography exhibit now running at Dublin’s Gallery X.
Curated by Stephen Romano of New York’s Stephen Romano Gallery, THE SHAMANIC EYE features works by William Mortensen (1897-1965), alongside the photographic art of Blondie’s Chris Stein, Edward Colver, Courtney Brooke Hall, Cormac Figgis, Brittany Rose Luciani, Andres Serrano, Adam De Ville, Ken Weaver, Erik Bergrin and Alexis Palmer Karl. Although none of these artists defined themselves as shamans in the traditional sense, the art of each perpetuates the visionary power of artists who tread the darkness as empaths, healers and conduits of hidden knowledge.
From Gallery X’s press release:
“In these ever bewildering times, people seek alternative and more trusted means of guidance and inspiration in order to maintain sustenance. Art has historically been one such source that we draw strength from. And in the most noble of instances, the artist’s creative motivation is altruistic. While shamans essentially work in league with spirits to repair a soul, the artist channels their personal ordeals and experiences to manifest works that serve the viewer as affirmations of a higher order.
In this exhibition, whether intentionally or not, the artists are diviners and conduits who reveal a basic truth that art has the power to transform the mundane into the evocative. In a testament to the artists’ practices, [art] brings awe and elation to a world deeply in need of healing. This exhibition presents the artist as altruist with unselfish regard for and devotion to the welfare of others.”
THE SHAMANIC EYE at Dublin, Ireland’s Gallery X, runs through January 16, 2024. For more information, contact Giovanni Giusti at GalleryX at email@example.com