During the 2017 summer solstice on 20 June, 13,000 online neo-pagans cast a spell against Trump. This group, Resistance Witches, operates primarily from home mostly via Facebook. The members believe desperate times need magic measures #MagicResistance.
Also in 2017: GenX poison contaminated the Rotterdam drinking water, an articial womb successfully grew baby sheep and the World Health Organization warns of a resistant strain of ‘super gonorrhoea’.
When the ‘real’ world starts resembling science ction and fantasy, summoning spirits and performing occult rituals as a remedy suddenly doesn’t seem such a crazy idea. As the Enlightenment’s rational values fade from the spotlight, with the technologized society offering little solace, there is an increasing interest in the magic practices of occult subcultures, science ction, and fantasy stories.
Fascinated by these trends, MAMA enters the witching season with HOST, a jointly designed installation combining the work of two artist duos: New York-based Croatian duo Tarwuk (Bruno Pogacnik Wukodrakula and Ivana Vuksic) and Jaakko Pallasvuo and Anni Puolakka from Finland, who are based in Rotterdam and Helsinki. These pairings share a fascination in rituals, fantasy, techno/cyber paganism, occult undercurrents, and chaos magick. Labelled as pagan, uncivilised, hysterical, and escapist, these un- dercurrents are traditionally excluded from public debate; they offer a fruitful alternative to our current problems. The duos imagine a future society in which witchcraft and cyber-shamanism are part of a seemingly impossible exchange of the natural and virtual.
The jointly designed installation at MAMA, made from the physical surplus of our contemporary Western society, considers the house as the place where traditional, often-forbidden rituals and occult practices occur. The house is abandoned, and visitors wander through rooms in which strange objects and inexplicable remainders are the only traces of human occupation. This enigmatic and engaging environment offers the ideal ambience for new and existing video works by Tarwuk, Anni, and Jaakko.