Rituals for a new world

Exhibition from 15 Feb to 07 May 2023

11 months ago

Bringing together artists from across different generations, Au-delà transforms Lafayette Anticipations into a journey evoking rituals at once ancient and contemporary, individual and collective, pagan and divine, in the search of a new sacred, a new unifying force.

While the world becomes increasingly wounded and desecrated and people seem more detached from the magic and power of the earth, the desire to invent and reinvent rituals and languages which would enable us to reach the sacred can be seen as a reaction to the degradation of the living, a counterculture responding to the general profanity of life. The subject of ritual—what makes us chant and dance, laugh and cry, dwell and transcend—tells a part of the history of our humanity while also outlining the one we hope to invent.
Unfolding like a choreographed rite itself through new, as well as rarely exhibited historical, modern, and contemporary works from the fields of art, music, fashion, and theatre, Au-delà takes us into a world in constant transformation, pulling us “beyond”, deeper into ourselves and through the layers of time in order to reinforce our presence in the now.

→ Alicia Adamerovich · Korakrit Arunanondchai & Alex Gvojic · Ivana Bašić · Hildegard von Bingen · Bianca Bondi · Romeo Castellucci · Matthew Angelo Harrison · Eva Hesse · Janina Kraupe-Świderska · Wifredo Lam · Michèle Lamy · Tau Lewis · Kat Lyons · Kali Malone · Ana Mendieta · Christelle Oyiri · Tobias Spichtig · TARWUK · Jeanne Vicerial · Anna Zemánková. As well as Cycladic idols and a Punic stele.

Curator : Agnes Gryczkowska

● Chapter 1 ●

Au-delà unfolds across the three floors of Lafayette Anticipations, through which we are guided in an almost trance-inducing process by Kali Malone’s new sound composition.

While the courtyard is occupied by Michèle Lamy’s new totemic sculpture, this first floor is where the ancestral rituals enter into dialogue with more recent ones, and elements of the occult, alchemy, divination, natural healing, fertility, and Earth rites are bound together into one circle through works by Bianca Bondi, Ana Mendieta, Wifredo Lam, and Hildegard von Bingen. The ceremony pulls us back through the layers of space and time to the Cycladic sculptures evoking the worship of a fertility goddess and the sacred celestial body of Tau Lewis’s tapestry, speaking of a world in an endless cycle of metamorphosis. Mysterious universes, totems, magnetic forces emanating from parallel worlds and symbols created in a ritualistic, intuitive process point beyond the darkness of the now in works by TARWUK, Jeanne Vicerial, Anna Zemánková, and Janina Kraupe-Świderska. They are a meditation on the transformative potential of rituals and the poetics of spirituality, while Matthew Angelo Harrisons and Christelle Oyiri’s ritualistic objects and masks pose questions around ceremonial traditions and the notion of faith in relation to colonial histories.

● Chapter 2 ●

This chapter of the exhibition reveals a world which questions the very essence of transcendence and metamorphosis—of life and death, of the cyclicality of all matter and existence. In some ancient societies, such as Carthage or Ancient Egypt, death was not considered an end, but a new beginning and the start of another experience—a rite of passage. The works on this floor evoke the transitions between the earthly and the celestial, the material and the spiritual, which ritual practices allow us to explore.

The journey takes us through artworks by Ivana Bašić, Kat Lyons, and Eva Hesse alongside the Punic sacrificial stele which speak of bodily disintegration as a radical method of liberation from the material order, of the body’s power of regeneration and reproduction, and of the relationship between genesis and the ecologies and ecosystems buried deep inside the Earth. Tobias Spichtig and Romeo Castellucci summon the absurdity of existence and pull us into a world filled with forces of life and death, of void and pure chaos, of cathartic madness, and of multiple becomings

● Chapter 3 ●

This third and final chapter of the exhibition is the epilogue of the rite—an ode to the final stages of transformation—to rebirth, to the non-existence of the boundary between the earthly and the divine, to the sublime, to the new sun blazing on the orifice of the earth.

It begins with Korakrit Arunanondchai and Alex Gvojic’s video which takes us to the place where we reconnect with ancestral souls. The video weaves together stories of transformation, of spirits and bodies reentering the universe as it tells us to “participate in the creation of this world by de-creating ourselves”. As we continue, we find ourselves floating between the spirits of Alicia Adamerovich’s paintings which come in both from the outside—from the depths of the soil, and from the inside—from the unconscious, creating horizons and forms that give shape to the final stage of transcendence.

The journey is completed as it began, with Kali Malone’s sound composition filling the space. The numerical matrix is slowly decoded  as a rhythmical score, uniting the musicians in keystone moments — serving as a collective sonic mapping of the world and a meditation on resonance creation—not only sonic, but also ritualistic, communal, and symbolic


With Libération, M Le Magazine du Monde, TRAX, Time Out and The New York Times

View of the exhibition Au-delà · Rituals for a new world © Martin Argyroglo
View of the exhibition Au-delà · Rituals for a new world © Martin Argyroglo
View of the exhibition Au-delà · Rituals for a new world © Martin Argyroglo
View of the exhibition Au-delà · Rituals for a new world © Martin Argyroglo
View of the exhibition Au-delà · Rituals for a new world © Martin Argyroglo
View of the exhibition Au-delà · Rituals for a new world © Martin Argyroglo