Nuno da Luz at SYNTAX / Lisbon

Nuno da Luz / Sud e magia

22.7 – 1.10.2016

all photos: Bruno Lopes

“All I can tell you is that we are fluid, luminous beings made of fibres.”* Carlos Castaneda

Inspired by the writings of Carlos Castaneda, Sud e magia (South and Magic) aims to challenge the idea of culture(s) as a universal and a prefabricated con-sensus, which determines one’s understanding of his/her surrounding and one’s role within a web of pre-determined and previously described relations as fixed. This predominantly Western perception of reality as an absolute, driven by a social contract of a specific cultural context, results in static comprehension of reality and in the inability for change in thought or in behavioural patterns.

Through the prism of the present day environmental crisis, a need to shift these behavioural patterns as a means to tackle climate change and further exploitation of nature becomes pertinent. Although fictional, the writing of Castaneda here becomes particularly useful, namely due to the authors interest in shamanism, spiritualism and the tribes of the Southwestern United States and Nortwestern Mexico, whose rejection of an absolute reality and the refusal of Western materi-alism, introduces a number of productive alternatives of re-establishing relations with the natural. These arise namely through a bi-verse or even a multiverse ap-proach to a series of separate realities of the so-called non-rational.

A popular method of achieving such a “state” came hand in hand with Castaneda’s interest in the botanical, and his experimentation with hallucinogenic and psycho-tropic plants. Originally endemic to Mexico and Southwestern United States, Da-tura Stramonium (Jimson Weed or Devil’s weed) is considered an invasive spe-cies in Europe and an unwanted weed frequently growing on cultivated/farmed lands. It serves us here as an illustration of the fixed relationship determined by a prefabricated consensus and of our inability to stop the world in order to arrive at seeing. (The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, 1968)

Markéta Stará Condeixa

Sud e magia presents a series of new works produced and composed for the purpose of the show and is a continuation of the artist’s engagement with the dichotomy between the natural and the cultural. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of performances and performative discus-sions of the Coyote collective, which will take place throughout September 2016.

*Carlos Castaneda, Tales of Power, p. 159, Simon and Schuster, 1974, New York