After featuring four Dutch artists, Amsterdam’s museum of photography, FOAM, showcases its first international artists as part of its Next Level exhibition series. Next Level is meant to showcase innovative art made by (relatively) young artists working within the medium of photography. Since July, the latest Next Level comes courtesy of UK based mixed media artist, Dominic Hawgood and is a multi-sensory excursion into the realms of drug dimethyltryptamine (DMT).
Under the title Casting Out The Self, the exhibition combines classic photography, digital technology, and ritualistic immersion specifically designed for the space. Much of the content is created as photograms when an object is laid on photosensitive paper in order to make prints. Through this technique, as well as sculpture and lighting design, Hawgood shifts between the analog (physical) and digital (psychedelic), akin to how he perceives his own experiences with the drug. “I had experimented more often with mind-expanding drugs, but this was a completely different experience than, for example, with LSD. The sound was muted, every sense of depth disappeared, and the face of the friend sitting next to me changed into geometric patterns. It was as if I had ended up in a computer simulation, a digital world,” he told Het Parool.
In reference to the exhibitions name, Hawgood draws from Amazonian Ayahuasca ceremonies where natural variants of DMT, drank in tea form, create powerful hallucinatory experiences, meant to draw users closer to the universe, nature, gods, and themselves. Through these hallucinations, that begin with vomiting, the user experiences spiritual cleansing.
Casting Out The Self runs through 13 October 2019 at FOAM
Featured Image: Dominic Hawgood – Casting Out the Self, 2019 © Dominic Hawgood