Rituals Overtake The Ferguson Foundry
Exhibition featuring Marijke Loosjes, Circus Carnis, Matthew Pope, and Frater Sorath.
Far from a night for the faint of heart, The Rituals is an 18+ art exhibition open to the public until the 9th of September at the Ferguson Foundry, next door to Studio 281 in Maylands. The main features of its opening night were testing of the human body's limits, alongside taboo nudity and imagery. If you have an interest in the occult and masochistic exhibitionism, this show is right up your alley.
"I was interested in stepping away from the sterile gallery environment, I really wanted an open industrial type space that could be used as a versatile backdrop for all the different artworks and performance styles."
From books and robes to hooks and ropes
The Rituals as an exhibition is centralized around the effects that rituals have on people on both an individual and societal level. The performances on display at The Rituals' opening night covered four pillars of human endurance: Marijke Loosjes' work Drowning focused on emotion, while Circus Carnis' I Am The Beast I Worship and Matthew Pope's Barbed Wire Hula Hoop tackled physicality and psychological limits. Frater Sorath's untitled demonic summoning ritual ended the evening with a test of spirit, attempting to evoke Asmodeus, a king of demons. Marijke was also the organiser of the event, and was glad to divulge the rationale behind her choice of acts.
“I chose everyone knowing they would bring a different style of performance and worked in different mediums to one another."
Of all performances, Marijke's is the most easily enjoyable, with costume, music and symbolism playing a role throughout her act, and a clear message on depression and grief to be gathered from it. From there, you're in for a shock if you didn't know what you were in for, with Circus Carnis' coming in with fully nude suspension and bondage by flesh hooks, and a downright masochistic display of repeatedly walking over broken glass, and emphasis on pulling at their pierced skin.
Matt follows up with the decency to keep his undies on when he lets loose in a technically demanding, oddly hypnotic demonstration; the sound accompanying him is a repetitive thud, giving off the feeling of throbbing pain as you slowly see more and more red marks appear across his body, what little clothing he has begin to shred, and his technique gradually falter.
Closing out the evening, there's Frater, donning a full cloak, and drawing out the Lesser Key of Solomon prior to his demonic sermon. His summoning ritual is sinister and jarring throughout, setting a fitting atmosphere of unease and confusion. Overall, the evening is an intriguing, thought-provoking spectacle, though its shock value may get in the way for some people.
A night to remember
Free food & drink and an open floor made for many interesting interludes between The Rituals' performances. Discussing the artists and displays around the foundry were commonplace, and Circus Carnis' unsettling act especially spurred a number of conversations from the people who weren't prepared. Marijke was especially pleased by it all, with a beaming smile whenever a glance of her was caught.
"I'm interested in having the audience really question and reflect on their interactions with the artworks and performances. Each artist presented this to the audience, which was another factor in choosing them for the exhibition."
Needless to say, the exhibition was successful. Its disturbing content was repulsive in the heat of the moment, yet prompted a slew of fun interactions from confused what the hells to tipsy philosophy lessons. The chats struck up with strangers at The Rituals were just as memorable as the event itself, and that was part of its goal: to get people talking.
The open gallery
The displays from The Rituals' opening night stays at the Ferguson Foundry until the 9th of September, open from 9-5 on weekdays, and 10-4 on the closing Saturday. Admission to the gallery is free, and features exhibits from all four of the opening night's performers, each fitting the same mould as their respective acts. The tone is shifted away from the ability to endure the sorts of stresses that the performances covered, instead towards the core concepts explored by them.
The artworks include photographs, sculpture, printmaking, stitching and literature. Those particularly interested in occult lore may especially enjoy Frater's, and the book he has on sale for $20 in the gallery, The Psalter of Enoch.
Big plans ahead
With the great reception of The Rituals in Perth under her belt, Marijke plans to take her show interstate to exhibit to audiences all over Australia. Going into the future, she also hopes to put together another exhibition with the same kind of down-to-earth format.
"It was such a successful night and I feel that from the response and feedback that Perth really needs this kind of event in the art scene right now."
If you want to keep up to date with Marijke and her exhibits, you can check out her website, and follow her on Instagram and Vimeo, the latter featuring a preview video for The Rituals. You can also take a look at Circus Carnis (be warned), Matt Pope, And Frater Sorath.