The exhibition project by Siarhiej Leskiec
Curator Dzina Danilovich
“From pagan prayers and spells zamova arose from the power of human words, than it was based on the authority of the deity called, and at last it was based on the authority of the person casting zamova and the conviction of the believers. The power of zamova is in the accurate pronunciation of the certain words and the performance of accompanied rituals.”
In hard times people search for the sacred, the spiritual, and the inexpressible. In an attempt to transcend their reality, a person acquires the need to believe. There is a revival of interest in ancient rituals, folklore practices, alternative ways of spirituality — the belief in the possibility of human transformation and healing. In different cultures, these edges of experience are the prerogatives of shamans, witch-doctors, sorcerers, healers.
During ten years Siarhiej Leskiec explored this mystical world of "village magic" closed from prying eyes, travelled through remote villages, documenting and archiving the evidence of the bearers of "sacred knowledge". This closed and guarded practice of “word-healing” gradually became visible: documentary photographs of wise women and herbalists, reportage filming of treating rituals, a collection of attributes and articles, interview texts. The entire archive of artefacts and images collected by the author will be used as material for the curator's expression.
How to make transcendent experience visible and magical connections clear? The authors of the project find a form with the help of contemporary art as a tool, as a way of speaking. Sound, video, documentary photography, installation connected by a symbolic red line awaken hidden knowledge, expose imaginary links, become the way of attaching to the fading cultural tradition of our ancestors.
Before our eyes takes place the process of “enchantment the world” (to paraphrase the German sociologist M. Weber) when ordinary things and everyday actions become part of the magical process. In this very case, the artist and the curator use not a scientific and rational approach, but intuitive, non-conventional techniques aimed at sensual, non-rational perception — a method of “taming” the world, proven by our predecessors.
written by Volha Rybchynskaja.
Selected exhibition projects:
2021 — Genius loci. Genius lost. NCCA, Minsk
2018 — Whisper, Chongqing Art Museum, China.
2017 — Whisper, show at Tbilisi Photo Festival, Georgia
2017 — Whisper, show and performance, Land Art Festival, Poland