Ophelie Naessens | Playlist on Spirit
Ophelie Naessens and Cynthia Montier, Nous sommes les pierres, 2022
Listen to other playlists by invitees Bernice Nauta (NL), Susana López a.k.a. Susan Drone (ES), Venus Patel (US/IE), Costin Chioreanu (RO), Caz Egelie a.k.a. menu menu (NL), Irene de Boer (NL), Pei-Hsuan Wang (TW/BE) and Gala-Porras Kim (CO/US).
Playlist on Spirit
This playlist is part of a wider research-creation approach aimed at experimenting with participatory and performative forms of art, magic, and political struggle.
It marks the start of research into the creation of a performance on the theme of conversation with the dead, or how to artistically reappropriate the vocabulary of spiritualist conversation and mediumistic communications (bodies, affects, texts, voices, presences) from a spiritual and militant perspective. Indeed, hearing and making hear ‘other voices’ (the dead, grandmothers, spirits, ghosts, and other entities) is a subjective experience with multiple interpretations, at the center of much scientific research. Although these voices are partly beyond our perception and understanding, they nevertheless reveal fundamental elements in the construction of our relationship with the world, on both an individual and collective level, and raise questions about our relationship with belief, the irrational, and the mechanisms of domination (species, class, gender).
This playlist combines funeral ritual songs, video works of artists (Chirara Fumai, Suzanne Husky), film extracts (The Uninvited, The Craft), and an extract from Allan Kardec’s Book of Spirits.
Ophelie’s work interweaves psychological references (theories and tools from clinical psychology, accounts of therapeutic experiences, psychodramas, psychoanalytic novels, and psychoanalytic film noir), texts, images, and voices, through installations (photographs, videos, sounds, and books) and performances. Since 2019, Cynthia Montier and she have formed a duo of artist-researchers and performers, imagining and experimenting with participatory and performative forms that navigate between art, activism, and magic. Together, they are interested in mediation and the transmission of knowledge and practices, as well as the place of spirituality in vernacular and socially engaged artistic practices. They have developed the notion of ‘esotericogeography’, or the understanding of urban or rural geography and geology as spaces with a dual dimension: both physical (concrete) and esoteric (hidden meaning), revealing a profound meaning; the symbolic representation of a spiritual, mystical or emotional experience. Their research-creation work – performances, publications, workshops – is developed through surveys, conversational devices, storytelling, rituals, and protocols.