04.09 – 07.11.2021
RX Receiver Platform a PowerPoint performance with earth mirror, pestle and mortar and receiver platform sculptures.Automatic Receivers was a special event in the Great Invocation exhibition at Garage Rotterdam curated by Pádraic E. Moore and explored the phenomena of automatism and receiving (‘recipere’).
Ruchama projects digital landscapes onto a screen. Placed before it, plants and stone pigments are strewn across a built platform. We are watching a PowerPoint presentation, a format native to corporate offices and academic institutions, the stuff of proposals and sales pitches, presentations and lectures. Hijacking this format for higher spiritual purpose, Ruchama Noorda is an artist whose work is deeply concerned with healing, nature, and the mythologies of alternative medicine as absorbed by the counterculture. This performance-based work is titled Rx, or ℞, an abbreviation used in medicine and pharmacology, communicating which drugs a patient has been prescribed. Derived from the Latin word ‘recipe’, ‘to take’, the same two letters occur in electronics, where it refers to the ‘receiver’.
Noorda’s practice draws upon ‘Lebensreform’, a late 19th- and early 20th-century social reform movement that rejected the rapid advances of industrialisation and urbanisation, advocating instead for vegetarianism, organic farming, sobriety and naturopathy. Lebensreform also turned to spiritual philosophies, including yoga and theosophy, for alternative models of living. Possibly due to the emigration of some of its practitioners to California in the mid-20th Century, the ethos of Lebensreform seems to have shaped or inspired the ‘hippie’ counterculture that emerged in the 1960s. Noorda’s practice draws upon the teachings and ritual practices of these movements, seizing digital means of presentation to offer a “faith-based praxis ritual” or live invocation of spiritual wisdom—all the while complicating the binary thinking which sets the corporate in opposition to the counterculture in the first place.
‘The Great Invocation exhibition referred to the mantra allegedly received by British writer Alice Bailey from a spirit guide in 1945, as the last battles of WWII ravaged Europe. Bailey described The Great Invocation as a synthesis of meditation, prayer, and affirmation, that would assist the world in times of unprecedented calamity, thus ‘saving humanity from self-destruction’…
With work by Mikala Dwyer, Bertus Jonkers, Madge Gill, Jan Kervezee, Marc Lamy, Leo Luccioni, Ruchama Noorda Sharon Overmeiren, Ewoud van Rijn, Linder Sterling, Emma Talbot and Suzanne Treister.