2021 Rupert theme – Magic and Rituals
In 2021 Rupert is working with the theme of magic and rituals and how they shape our world through different contemporary expressions.
For millennia magic and rituals created worlds, long before the idea of worlding became a tool to recognise multitudes of being. Complexities of the lived environment and threats of the unknown were explained and decorated by elegant narratives and conciliated by ceremonial offerings. Despite modernity’s attempt to dispel the magical and replace rituals with veneration of mechanical efficiency, the disenchantment was never completed. Even today, when technic, as theorised by Federico Campagna, threatens to homogenise and calculate every aspect of reality, magic offers a nurturing space to imagine and experience different worlds. Throughout 2021, Rupert programme will employ magic and rituals to critically reflect on socio-political enclosures and will foster rituals of care.
Magic and rituals have been subjected to different forms of extraction and denial – from marginalisation and dismissal, leaving practitioners at the fringes of the society, to the capitalist commodification and entrepreneurial appropriation. Engagement with such a multifaceted theme requires us to consider our own position as outsiders, practitioners or observers. It bears the question what it means to engage with neglected histories and contemporary practices that do not comply with dominant discourses. Finally, how can we explore the milieu of magic (Isabelle Stengers) without exercising colonial powers?
With acknowledging the importance of rising questions and opening spaces for discussion, we also aim to provide answers. Answers that assure multiplicity of voices, encourage exploration and lauds playfulness. Every now and then abandoning the piercing gaze of a stringent researcher, we want to get our hands dirty and feel the body shivering.
Increasing interest in magic and rituals opens possibilities to rebuild and reclaim worlds that have been neglected or wrecked. Feminist struggles, utopian techno imaginaries or animist ecology creates hazy pathways and promising alliances with defiant worlds of enchantment. It generates a potential to find ourselves in a situation where everything suddenly is permeated by magic. Where for a brief moment our senses are hacked and we are absorbed by the otherworldly.
Invited artists, curators, researchers and thinkers will approach the theme from their respected fields and urge us to think along and with magic and rituals. Throughout the year, Rupert will explore re-enchantment of the world via a series of lectures, commissioned works and educational events. We encourage to exercise curiosity and attentiveness and care in the face of the unknown.
Rupert’s programmes are partly supported by Lithuanian Culture Council and Vilnius city municipality.