Pardes (Orchard), 2014
One channel video and sound installation, 71 min.
In her work 'Pardes' (Orchard) Yael Bartana takes a very personal look at how Westerners seek personal enlightenment by appropriating traditional rituals: she documents the journey of her close friend Michael – an Israeli artist, who, on the one hand, sceptically rejects all organised religion, but on the other hand, is on a constant search for deeper understanding, investigating Kabbalah as well as the cults of the Amazon. Under the guidance of a Brazilian shaman he undergoes the Ayahuasca ritual, taking the psychedelic brew that is said to lead to deep spiritual revelations about the universe and one’s own personality, a feeling described as an experience of rebirth, enlightenment or – in the worst case – as one of the worst trips possible. The once very specific and local ritual becomes an inclusive performance, open for very different needs and cultural backgrounds.