Patel Brown Gallery, Toronto, Canada
August 15, 2020 – September 26, 2020
The re-spelling of the word magic removes its affiliation with spectacles for naive audiences, placing it further toward the sphere of the metaphysically charged. In the beginnings of its modern mainstream dissemination and application, what were known as magickal practices were punished corporally and capitally in the Americas for their divergence from Colonial, Christian, white puritanical beliefs and rule. Diasporic, marginalized and Indigenous communities were penalized the most heavily for their continued or developed work of sustaining their communities by upholding and practicing traditional and new rites and ceremonies and very importantly, the creation, protection and blessing of sacred objects.
In a recent revival of occultism, contemporary re-imaginings of ancestral witchcraft practices, and a renewed interest in personal talismanic objects, the observation can be made that humans are getting ready for massive change and ready to fuse with various bodily worn, handmade, powerfully charged instruments, amulets, jewels, tools or otherwise in aid of that change.
The idea of Magick itself then proceeds to ask the question of whether or not objects can change the world around it. Quantum theory demonstrates that various basic physical particles, such as electrons, hadrons and quarks will change course and display different behaviour under observation within controlled experiments. Those experiments open a conversation about willing change into effect by way of objects on various levels including but not limited to that of the spiritual, socio-economic and political realms. The exhibition Talisman offers that this is possible by way of activating and making available objects that have been brought into the world to act as catalysts for change and revolution.
—Text and curatorship by Rajni Perera
Saks Afridi, Oreka James, Merritt Johnson, Oluseye, Soull Ogun.