Ritual Without Myth

Catalogue of the 2012 annual graduate show of the MA Curating Contemporary Art

March 2012, Royal College of Art, London


Curators: Daniela Berger, Laura Clarke, Sabel Gavaldon, Katie Guggenheim, Lily Hall, Egle Kulbokaite, Mette Kjaergaard Praest, Laura Smith, Borbála Soós, Elizabeth Stanton
Artists exhibited: Danai Anesiadou, Asco, Erick Beltrán, Lygia Clark, Joachim Koester, Patrizio Di Massimo, Ioana Nemes, Ocaña, Amalia Pica, Yeguas del Apocalipsis

Designed by Rustan Söderling the catalogue for Ritual without Myth features a series of short essays that contextualise the practice of the artists in the exhibition, and provide insight into their diverse approaches to ritual, as well as their embodiment and subversion of dominant myths.

The exhibition brings together practices that revisit the idea of ritual as a catalyst
for transformative experience and that interrogate myth as a set of beliefs that sustain our social structures. In the works presented, different bodies of culture are devoured and devour in turn; a strategy that can be related to the concept of antropofagia (the cannibalisation of culture, as first defined within Brazilian avant-gardes). Rather than incorporating the other, this process involves a transformation, a becoming. Devouring mythologies allows the possibility of re-signifying them, in order to decentre the colonial, social and sexual norms that constitute modernity.


From top to bottom:

Patrizio Di Massimo, ‘Una Turandiade Buzziana (in forma di note)’, 2011, courtesy of the artist.
Joachim Koester, ‘To navigate, in a genuine way, in the unknown necessitates an attitude of daring, but not one of recklessness (movements generated from the Magical Passes of Carlos Castaneda)’, 2009, courtesy of the artist and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen.
Amalia Pica, ‘Final de Fiesta’, 2005, courtesy the artist, Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam and Herald St, London.
Dana Anesiadou, ‘I KISS YOUR ECTOPLASM LIKE I WOULD A SHARK III’, 2012 (detail), courtesy of the artist and Elisa Platteau & Cie Galerie, Brussels.
Ioana Nemes, ‘Relics for the Afterfuture (Brown)’, 2009, courtesy Jiri Svestka Gallery, Prague and Berlin.
Lygia Clark, ‘Viagem’, 1973, courtesy The Cultural Association, ‘The World of Lygia Clark’, Rio de Janeiro.

Photographs by David Pearson. Courtesy Royal College of Art, London