human nature?

installation of hanging porcelain artefacts and a bookwork comprising of the sacrificial artefacts from the equinox/fullmoon rite, pinhole photographs of the site after the ritual and the paper moon …


text by Finbar Krook Rosata, curator at Atelier 123 who facilitated and hosted the project

” The daily lives lived by individuals in contemporary western European societies are often governed by forces beyond our immediate control. The routines and rules we live by are often not of our own making. Freedom of choice has become something of mantra for the modern world, yet the choices we are presented with seem more and more often to be limiting rather than liberating. The narrow set of normative life choices that have become the status quo of today shift and alter slightly on a regular basis to give the sense that we are progressing and evolving towards the mirage of a more enlightened tomorrow. However, contemporary life in post-industrial society seems to offer less and less opportunity for reflection and even less space for any real individual action or expression. All the minutia of daily life could be conceived as a set of rituals that we adhere slavishly to. But do they hold any real meaning for us? Do they help us to grow or do they simply keep us in a state of arrested development?

Do we need to find new rituals? Should we attempt to rediscover and re-evaluate the ritual traditions of times gone by? Should we abandon our daily communications with the many faceted network deities of modernity and go looking for older mysteries? Geraldine Hudson has created a new project for Atelier 123 entitled Human Nature? Pt2 in which she examines the human need to engage with various ritual forms. Through much of her artistic practice, Hudson has raised questions about authenticity, concepts of origin, and cultural norms. Human Nature? Pt2 will take a variety of forms and will develop and grow over time; starting with a public event at an as yet undisclosed location in Hökarängen, continuing with the evolution of a large-scale installation at Atelier 123 and culminating in a closing event a month later.

In this project, Geraldine Hudson pushes us to examine what role ritual might play in our daily lives, and presents us with the possibility of rediscovering and reinventing older ritual traditions. Whether we are firmly convinced of the unquestionable validity of modernity or reject it in favour of romanticizing “the call of wild nature”, a rediscovery of ritual traditions may offer us the possibility of staking out our own individual path, allowing us to leave the well-trodden road of preconceived ideas and strike out into the unknown. A cultural separation between people and the natural world has been firmly cemented in our time. Given that many of the attempts to reverse this strive towards an imagined original state of purity that is in itself an artificial construct, the value of ritual might be to allow for the creation of flexible individual models for approaching the natural world. ”