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New arrivals

The intimate knowledge of an individual about herself or himself, their community, their life-space, is probably the most significant lesson we can draw from a participatory inquiry into shamanism. Initial and permanent questions in this investigation must deal with issues regarding how to understand the possibilities of applying shamanic ideologies to contemporary life in large scale societies.


One could question what aspects of shamanism could be applied to our present life in large cities, with immediate communication, with the possibility to instantaneously retrieve all sorts of information, and the opportunity to move across the planet in a few hours. From shamanism we can learn how to develop an intimate knowledge of our immediate environment, to view the city and its surroundings as an entity full of patterns that can be traversed and understood.  Such knowledge of the urban environment brings with it and demonstrates the interconnectedness of all component elements. Indigenous cultures all over the world over centuries have intelligently developed concepts of what is proper for them and their setting at a moment in time.  Then, one should inquire within our global traditions what strategies to follow to determine what is proper for our time and place, not the simple mimicking of indigenous cultures. Shamanic technologies can contribute to answering these questions about our own culture.

Trichocereus Pachanoj (Jill Plugh and Steven F. White©, 2022).

(Foto, Rodrigo Tisi).

* Video material

Contemporary artists and indigenous shamanism

Notions of repetition, accumulation, ritual or daily events, trips to other realms of existence, complex knowledge of their environment and other frequent elements of shamanic art, are present in the work of the artists we see in this video. An important parallel with shamanism is evident in the intention to obtain information and knowledge and return it, through their art, to the community in ways that fit notions of time, place and people.


Extracto de la obra audiovisual Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing, de Francis Alÿs ©, 1997. Performance urbana en las calles de Ciudad México, México DF.


Extracto de la obra audiovisual I Like America and America Likes Me, también conocido como Coyote, de Joseph Beuys ©, 1974. Performance en la Galería René Block, SoHo, Nueva York.


Extracto de la obra audiovisual I Want to See How You See (or a portrait of Cornelia Providoli), de Pipilotti Rist ©, 2003. En Point of View: An Anthology of the Moving Image. Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.


Fotografías de Carsten Höller ©. Courtesy, the artist and Fondazione Prada, Milan Installation view. Synchro Systems, Fondazione Prada, Milan, 2000 (Photo, Attilio Maranzano).

The exquisite corpse.
Collaborative game

We present this collaborative method to build a drawing. Each co-participant must continue the previous drawing only seeing the end of the previous contributor. When you finish your drawing, fold the page, hiding your contribution with a blank page (check that your drawing extends a few millimeters past the fold). The drawing resulting from all the collaborations will be exhibited in the Museum’s courtyard 13 days before the closing of this exhibition.


In the 1920s, surrealist artists and writers, headed by André Breton, would get together to play this game that allowed them, or rather encouraged them, to create art and poetry together from the unconscious, in order to unveil the deeper ideas that were hidden in the minds of its participants.

Reproducir video

Antonin Artaud.

Un viaje al país de los tarahumara, 1936. French writer (1896-1946).


“Why every time I… felt I was approaching a capital phase of my existence, didn’t I arrive with a whole being? Why this terrible sense of loss, of missed opportunity, of frustrated event? True, I will see the sorcerers perform their rite; but in what way will that rite benefit me? I will see them. I will already be rewarded for that great patience that nothing until that moment could discourage… a White… is one the spirits have forsaken. If I got any good out of the ritual, it was so much the less for them, with their intelligent spirit-lining. So much the less for the spirits. So many more spirits they could no longer take advantage of.”

Walter Benjamin.

On Hashish, 1928. German writer and philosopher (1892-1940).


“Now I understand why to a painter… that ugliness that appears in the wrinkles, that the eyes project and some faces exhibit, can seem the true repository of beauty, more beautiful than the treasure chest… Moments later the hallucination vanished, as dreams vanish, without producing turbulence or embarrassment, but friendly and peaceful…”

Ernst Jünger.

Heliópolis, 1945. German writer (1895-1998).


“…he was a dream catcher. He hunted dreams like others hunt butterflies with his net. On Sundays and holidays he did not go to the Islands or seek entertainment in the taverns at the foot of the Pagos. He locked himself in his room and escaped to the region of dreams… He used to say that all the countries and all the unknown islands were woven there, in the tapestries. Drugs served as a key to enter the chambers and caves of this world…”

Allen Ginsberg.

Letter to William S. Burroughs, Pucallpa, Peru, 1960.

The Yagé Letters. American writer (1927-1997).


“The entire hut seemed rayed with spectral presences, all of them undergoing transfigurations at the contact of a mysterious One Thing that was our destiny and that would sooner or later kill us —while the healer intoned a litany, keeping a very simple chant soft, repeated and then shifting, kind of comforting, God knows what it meant—seemed to mean some reference point I was unable to get in touch with yet… I was scared and just lying there with wave after wave of fear passing over me. death, terror, until he could barely bear it, he didn’t want to seek refuge rejecting it as an illusion, because it was too real and familiar, especially as a rehearsal of the Last Minute of Death, head bobbing back and forth on the blanket and finally stopping in the last position of immobility and resignation without hope of God knows what Fate —for my being —felt completely lost extrayed soul — out of contact with some Thing that seemed to be present — I finally had the feeling that I could deal with the Question right there.