Ritual Paths exhibition in the Gallery Loft Acht in Vienna, takes as its starting point gesture and movement, especially the phenomenon of Apulian tarantism, which for centuries has been located on the borderline of disease aberration, mystical rite and cultural spectacle. Dance used in ceremonies performed a catalytic function, released excess energy and discharged the tension of the dancing people. Dance occurred in various traditions, as a codified set of protective gestures, but above all as a sign of metamorphosis, a liminal state, which was framed by ceremonies, celebrations creating a sense of community and social order. For years, obsessive dance fascinated and stimulated the imagination of not only psychiatrists and psychologists, but above all, it inspired artists, writers, directors and researchers who saw the creative potential in it. As a result of that, dramatic stories of tarantists emerged, claiming that they have been bitten by a venomous spider and must dance their disease in a frenetic dance. However, the research possibilities of interpreting this phenomenon are still inexhaustible. The exhibition symbolically refers to the dance, rather exposing gestures and group ceremonies in the context of everyday rituals and in some points as political connotations.

Loft Acht Gallery, Vienna


The exhibition was developed as part of the Mobil Art Lab research project supported by the statutory activity funds of the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice