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Ewoud van Rijn

The Ongoing Conversation #2.4



24/02/2015 –
– 30/11

– A playful ritual
– A ‘reading’ group for mental travellers
– A participatory performance merging yoga, trataka and mandala meditation, shamanic travelling

Ewoud van Rijn researches the cultural dimensions of contemporary spirituality by looking at the way it overlaps with contemporary art practices.
Throughout the history of western culture there’s been an ongoing familiarity between art and spiritual tendencies. Van Rijn is interested in how the spiritual fluctuates between a culture’s margins and center and how it revives and/or creates systems of representation. Both art and spiritual practices might represent ‘possible ways of looking at reality and the pursuit of knowledge’*
Engaging with spiritual practices van Rijn discovered that group activities are central to the way they function. Following up to this notion he took up performance as a research tool as well as a topic of research in itself. Gradually intensifying his engagement with this medium, it has now developed into a participatory form in which research, play and ritual converge.
The previous step in his research was the creation of a space for “Research-Play-Ritual’-in which yoga and participatory performance could be practiced. It facilitated a program of performances developed by a group of five people, who each from their respective professional backgrounds integrated spiritual practice with art practice.
Building on his experience from this experimental program, Van Rijn developed a group performance at 1646 merging yoga, tarot reading, shamanic travelling (using mandala and trataka meditation) to serve as entry point for a form of storytelling as theory in practice, in which all may participate.
Some of the students of the UvA master in Western Esotericism joined in and shared contextual research on altered states of consciousness. They also offered their academic and personal reflection on this research in practice.
Publication text: Lisanne Hoogerwerf
*Quoted from: Wouter J. Hanegraaff, ‘Esotericism and the Academy- Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture’, Cambridge university press, 2012, p. 378
The Ongoing Conversation II offered a series of fast-paced one-day exhibitions conceived as a platform to show and share the interest of ongoing artistic research.
In the seven short exhibitions, the seven graduating students of MAR freezed the momentum of their artistic research process to create a decisive entry into the end phase of their explorations. Stringed together over the course of one month, these milestones created a combined itinerary. The exhibitions bring you past sites of contaminated mushrooms, a hot bedroom in Curacao, a reflection on religious power at the European Parliament, a playful ritual, an unfolding of emptiness, a reconstruction of a conceptual architecture from the past and axiological dilemma’s in art and commerce.


This project was the outcome of a collaboration between 1646 and the Master Artistic Research, The Hague. The Master Artistic Research is a master programme for artists, based at the Royal Academy of Art and the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague.


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