236 Pender St East,
13 Oct 2023–10 Feb 2024
12 October, 2023
T. +1 604.683.7395
26 November–23 December 1994
Curated by: Janis Bowley
‘” ke’tabeses'” [Gk katatbasis: a going down, decent]
1: a going or marching down or back: retreat
The Or Gallery is pleased to present the new body of work Katabasis by Vancouver artist Julie Andreyev. The works in the exhibition refer to exploration, mining, collecting, and naming to illustrate humanity’s exploration of the global ecological context. Katabasis, derived from Greek, is defined as a descent, the going down to the foundations, a retreat. The exhibition uses the mythological archetype of Psyche in the tale of Psyche and Eros from The Golden Ass by Apuleius as a metaphor for katabasis of both the self and culture in general. The exhibition is specifically structured using Psyche’s Four Labors – the sorting of the seeds, the gathering of the ‘golden fleece’, the collecting of the ‘waters of life’, and the descent into the Underworld. Katabasis can also be seen as preparation for the restoration of the body and soul and the metamorphosis into symbiotic integration with the global ecological context. The exhibition also refers to the formative causation hypothesis proposed by the botanist Rupert Sheldrake centering on the theory of the ‘morphogenetic field’ which is believed to contain all the memory and history of a given entity and as such determine the entity’s form, development and behavior. In psychology the study of archetypal mythology reflects a similar understanding of a psychic stream of shared experience. Andreyev is exploring the re-evaluation of priorities in response to the hypercomplex condition of humanity and its influence on the natural world. There are fundamental changes occurring in the social and technological order of the global culture with the rise of the feminine, the deconstruction of the patriarchy, the sophistication of miniaturization of technology, the extension of cross-cultural communication and education, and the rebirth of spirituality. Andreyev theorizes that we may be at a critical point of fundamental growth and change – in the midst of a katabasis – preceding a sudden shift into an unprecedented coherent order.
The artist will be in attendance at the Opening and will give an Artist Talk at 3pm on Saturday December 10. The gallery’s publication for this exhibition has essay’s by the artist and Bill Jeffries.