Friday, November 11th
This exhibition explores syncretism: often understood as the reconciliation of disparate beliefs, systems of thought and forms of expression. Syncretism has been understood as the acceptance of foreign or unfamiliar practice and in Diderot’s thought, the harmony of eclectic sources. More recently, it has been described as a tactical articulation of opposing forces, often religious in nature, that allows for covert political resistance. In either case, syncretism describes a rich process of mélange, in which associations between symbols, icons, and a variety of techniques and media are assembled.
The thirteen art projects in this show survey syncretism in a diverse manner. Artists consider syncretism in its spiritual context, in which multiple sacred values amalgamate with the secular, while others comment upon the hyperbolic consumption of mass media. Syncretism is also questioned – is it an appropriate term to denote the constructive interaction between different cultures? Does it veil or reveal cultural imperialism? And finally, many artists here consider syncretism more generally as a disjunctive and open form of cultural production.
The Syncretism show coincides with the launch of Drain magazine’s 5th Issue, ‘Syncretism’.
Curated by Celina Jeffery
Assistant curator: David Howe
Technical Designer: Keith Conway
The following photographs are a selection of works from the exhibition.
©2005 drain magazine, www.drainmag.com, all rights reserved