Entheogen Venn, Clairvoyant Vision, Vespertine (Datura, A Bed Slept in Once)
Klontal Triennale 2014, Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus, Switzerland
Clairvoyant Vision, 2014
Entheogen Venn, 2014
Teleplastic Alloy (Mystic Triangle), 2014
Vespertine (Datura, A Bed Slept in Once)
Klontal Triennale 2014, Kunstahus Glarus
Dane Mitchell’s artistic practice contrasts a conceptual, minimalistic aesthetic with mysticism. On a floor area indicated by minimally-sized brass corners, the artist scatters a homeopathic dosage of powder from the datura plant, a nightshade variety. The roots and seeds of the common datura, but also its dried leaves, contain substances medically capable of producing hallucinogenic effects—such as a loss of the sense of time or even psychosis-like conditions—as first described by Hildegard von Bingen in the twelfth-century — interestingly, it can also induce photophobia (a fear of light).
In the exhibition space, the footprints of visitors distribute the powder, leaving behind an imaginary atmosphere of lightheadedness and a half-awake, hallucinatory state. This atmosphere is also sensed on an olfactory level via the release of a perfume developed in conjunction with a perfume maker; manifested in this are the smells of a bed slept in once and the datura. Under the datura, and very much buried, is this hint of linen, a warm linen, as though the body has just left a bed.
Entheogen Venn, two interlocking brass rings—similar to a Venn diagram—containing the oppositional terms “Delirium” and “Dissociation,” presents another facet of his investigations into states of sleep, dreaming, and hallucinations. The performance Clairvoyant Vision also focusses on rationality and irrationality, visibility and invisibility as oppositional pairs: during the exhibition opening a hypnotist will hypnotize a volunteer, allowing this person to see an object that is not visible to visitors who are not hypnotized.
In the gallery stockroom, forty-minutes prior to the exhibition opening, a willing volunteer was placed under hypnosis in order that they may see an object in the gallery that only they can see. For nearly forty minutes, the volunteer wandered the space as just another guest, her ‘otherness’ hidden and unknown, her secret kept, and in this process she had morphed from guest to performer, albeit an invisible one.