Jura Shust / NEOPHYTE II: Extraction of Apotropaic
co-curated by Anna Karpenko
25 March - 1 September 2021
Waldstrasse 3, 76133
At the time when Belarus is shaken by a major political crisis accompanied by mass protests and unprecedented repressions, while the whole world is gripped by a pandemic, a group of Belarusian millennials finds themselves in a parallel reality.
Looking-glass world, where time moves in a loop, the past and the future are united, and each sound echoes over the tree crowns to get back to the throat that emitted it. A constellation of eye-like lakes is surrounded by a sacred forest, no one counts days or nights here, and every morning the light is born.
Accompanied by an artist who is both a mediator and a cameraman, young people explore decentralized nature moving through it with their minds and bodies. Testing the apotropaic properties of the stinging nettle, they flog each other with it, decoding burns, and extracting chlorophyll, whose chemical structure is almost identical to hemoglobin one.
A shelter for magical and partisan forces, the forest becomes a place of protection, a territory of nonlinearity and freedom.
— When sacred pancakes are fried by sunbeams in the name of photosynthesis, mirrors are juggling light, catching it in the eclipse.
— When the earliest spring shoots appear they burn like a green fire, leading to exaltation and regeneration.
— When the young hearts are pumping green blood by the veins of liminal space a new form of life is waiting to be awakened.