Royal Academy of Art Gallery, The Hague, 2015
This installation is the latest in a series of works by Amsterdam-based artist, Ruchama Noorda that examine the buried, forgotten or otherwise neglected cultural, spiritual, political and artistic legacies of the early 20th century Lebensreform movement. Through a combination of library research, the alchemical manipulation of materials, invented ritual, public performance and on-site immersive experience, Noorda evaluates the continuing influence of Anthroposophical and Theosophical beliefs and practices on counter-cultural life-styles, social and artistic forms, back-to-nature-ism and the now booming alternative medicine, organic produce and natural healing industries.Central in the space stands a grotto/cave: point of access to and exit from the Underneath/the Underworld. Unfinished, open-ended, it serves a variety of functions: theatrical prop/ sacred shrine/ primal shelter/ paper shell/ portal to regression and epiphany/ miniature screening room. Three copper emoticon-gongs stand guard in a circle.