View of the exhibition Yanomami, l’esprit de la forêt, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2003. © Wolfgang Staehle. Picture © Patrick Gries.
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Exhibition overview

Yanomami, Spirit of the Forest brings international artists into contact with the shamans of Watoriki (Windy Mountain), a Yanomami village in the Brazilian Amazon. The ambition of this exhibition is not to lapse into exoticism or paternalism, but to connect our conception of images and representations with that of another culture. This show attempts to explore how the traditional yet constantly evolving metaphysical world of the Yanomami echoes the various facets of the “savage mind” still at work in our society. This exhibition brings forth a radical otherness in an endeavor to alter our perception and habitual modes of thought.

Artists and contributors of the exhibition:
  • Claudia Andujar,
  • Lothar Baumgarten,
  • Vincent Beaurin,
  • Raymond Depardon,
  • Gary Hill,
  • Tony Oursler,
  • Wolfgang Staehle,
  • Naoki Takizawa,
  • Adriana Varejão,
  • Stephen Vitiello,
  • Geraldo Yanomami,
  • Joseca,
  • Volkmar Ziegler

The exhibition in detail

This exchange was organized in collaboration with the shamans of Watoriki in a conscious effort to work with a single Yanomami community, thus achieving unity of place, time and action. In response to commissions by the Fondation Cartier, these artists allowed their individual creative worlds to be exposed to the Yanomami concept of shamanic images. The show structures itself on this idea of “free associations”. 

Consequently, Yanomami, Spirit of the Forest features neither tribal finery or feathers, nor any “Amerindian” or “crossover” art. Nor is this an ethnological or humanitarian exhibition. Treating Yanomami thought on an equal footing, this exhibition’s films, photographs, paintings, sculptures and video installations offer a web of correspondences relating to the major themes of the cosmological ideas and visionary experience of the eleven shamans of the village of Watoriki.

This exhibition has been organized in collaboration with Survival International and the Brazilian Pró-Yanomami non-governmental organization CCPY.

Image gallery

View of the exhibition Yanomami, l’esprit de la forêt, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2003, Tony Oursler, Mirror Maze (Dead Eyes Live), 2003, installation, balls, diam. 1,8 m, collection of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

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© Tony Oursler

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© André Morin

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Naoki Takizawa, Mirekopë, 2003, Mirrors, aluminium, steel, video projection created with yanomami drawings, view of the exhibition Yanomami, l’esprit de la forêt, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2003

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© Naoki Takizawa

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View of the exhibition Yanomami, l’esprit de la forêt, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2003

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© Claudia Andujar

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© Patrick Gries

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View of the exhibition Yanomami, l’esprit de la forêt, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2003

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© Claudia Andujar

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© Patrick Gries

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View of the exhibition Yanomami, l’esprit de la forêt, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2003

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© Vincent Beaurin

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Naoki Takizawa, Mirekopë (Shamanic Mirrors), 2003, Mirrors, aluminium, steel, videao projection using yanomami drawings, View of the exhibition Yanomami, l’esprit de la forêt, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2003

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© Naoki Takizawa

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© Fabien Calcavechia

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