A multisensory Live Artwork, Choose you Own Catharsis fuses the secular and the sacred, the cerebral and the sensual, the narrative and the conceptual. Experienced by one participant at a time, this performative ritual evokes the unknown, invites the uncertain, and is collaboratively navigated. It is created as a deep inquiry into the concept of secular ritual and meaning making in contemporary society. The current state of the world is overwhelming and often terrifying, brutality and suffering on every headline, the information age delivers us disassociated pain in multi-faceted ways. Contemporary society is witnessing a huge extinction event, becoming more aware of the need for decolonization and reparation, seeking a sense of belonging; attempting to reconnect with land, community, each other, ourselves. We yearn for a connection to something greater, for processes to help acknowledge periods of change or trauma – but without maintaining connections to ancestral cultural practices, how can these spaces be created, and what is the role of Art in this enquiry?
Ritual has been utilised as a process of consolidating and transforming our experiences since time immemorial. The word ‘ritual’ is often intimidating, or considered loaded with meaning, and yet symbolic action pervades human culture, past and present, suggesting an innate proclivity for ritualised behaviors.
Choose your own Catharsis seeks to redefine ritual from a devised, secular foundation – allowing inclusivity and individual meaning to champion cultural expectations – and aims to provide a space of meaning making, and transformation. If you were given the choice, what would you choose?