Ritual for Light
(Shamanic Visions in the White Nights of Saint Petersburg)


Exhibition La Figure et la Rose
Museum of Non-conformist Art, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Sketchbook by Villard de Honnecourt
© Bibliothèque Nationale de France

‘Ritual for Light’ took place in Saint Petersburg on July the 29th, 2017.
New projects in Paris soon.

Ritual for Light offers the possibility to live a shamanic experience in the Museum of Non-conformist Art, in the context of the ‘La Figure et la Rose’ group exhibition dedicated to Villard de Honnecourt (a XIIIth-Century artist from northern France, known for his sketchbook of architecture).

On the occasion of her art residency in Saint Petersburg, Agathe Simon realized several shamanic journeys during the white nights of July. For this purpose, she created a sacred space in the museum. Her journeys led her to visions and perceptions that directly inspired a ritual. She then enacted the ritual in the museum with participants from Saint Petersburg, Siberia and Kamchatka. In line with her previous interventions in Russia, she has now invited the public to participate in the experience.

Ritual for Light is a collective ritual based on a radical connection with the self, others and the unknown. It proposes an opening on the invisible — to inner actions and inner visions. Ritual for Light will leave traces in the museum: notes and drawings written on the floor, burnt candles and sacred wood sticks, and cards with shamanic words.

After the ritual, the visitors are invited to take home any element of the sacred space, which is destined for dissemination and progressive disappearance. At the end of the exhibition, the film documenting the ritual will possibly be the only concrete testimony of this collective experience.

In the XIIIth Century, cathedrals were created in order to honor the sacred. What about the XXIst Century, in a time of the consumerist doxa and religious fundamentalism? Ritual for Light offers an open answer on human relationships and the invisible.

Agathe Simon is a Paris-based artist, born in 1977. After a decade of art projects throughout the world, she starts a partenrship with the art company The Group in Paris in 2017. She is also conducting artistic creation workshops at the Sorbonne University.

Agathe Simon is currently preparing projects in partnership with ‘Les Voûtes’ (a Parisian alternative art venue), the “C.N.R.S.” (the largest governmental research organisation in France), the Paris Cergy National Graduate School of Arts, the University of Cergy-Pontoise, and the Museum of Non-conformist Art (Saint Petersburg, Russia). These projects will include performances, films, and exhibitions.