The Faith Cell is a hypothetical exhibition held at The Museum of Modern Art, featuring four artists whose works are inspired by shamanism—Nam June Paik, Joseph Beuys, Saya Woolfalk, and Jeremy Shaw.
The diagram on the cover is a dance diagram from Anna’ Halprin’s Planetary Dance, an annual all-day ritual of healing and community renewal. It brings people of all ages and abilities together in a beautiful setting to dance for a purpose.
This project was created after reading Tess Thackara’s article: “Why Shamanic Practices are Making a Comeback in Contemporary Art” at Artsy. In her article, she says:
“Pinchbeck summarizes German philosopher Walter Benjamin’s critique of capitalism: “Intoxicated, entranced by the new world of commodities, the West lost its contact with the communal ‘ecstatic trance,’ those archaic Dionysian festivals and annual Mysteries celebrating the transformation of primordial chaos into order. The loss of rituals that compelled ‘ecstatic contact with the cosmos’ posed a threat to humanity.” In response to this loss, Pinchbeck writes, the modern world turned to artists and poets for a substitute to “the transformative power of an actual encounter with a supernatural ‘other,’ or the personal experience of an altered state. In the modern world, the artist took over the role of the shaman.” He cites an example of one such figure: Joseph Beuys, who is perhaps the most famous neo-shaman in Western art history.”
This is a student project that was created at ArtCenter College of Design under the guidance of Simon Johnston.