until 04.09. | #3124ARTatBerlin | Galerie Buchholz presents from 20th August 2021 the exhibition “Singers of Ten Thousand Lines” by the photographer and author Michael Oppitz.
Under the title “Singers of Ten Thousand Lines”, the Buchholz Gallery presents photographs in order to introduce a book in which the majority of the exhibited pictures are collected in narrative sequence. Singers of Ten Thousand Lines” is the title of the main chapter of this book, which focuses on the extremely rich mythical tradition and ritual practice in a remote local society in the Himalayas.
The author, Michael Oppitz, had already published a shorter German version as a result of intensive field research in 1980 by Syndikat Verlag under the title “Shamans in the Blind Land”, at the same time as the now classic film of the same title.
The English version of the book now published expands the old one by more than a third of the documentary illustrations and by an extensive epilogue that traces the historical changes that have swept over this mountainous region of Nepal in the past four decades. In a pictorial appendix, the new book contrasts early illustrations on the history of shamanism in Siberia with recent healing practices in the Himalayas.
While the film followed the actions of the local faith healers in running pictures as part of an everyday event in the village and in front of changing scenery of an impressive natural landscape, in the book word descriptions and photographs enter into an equally weighted competition. Without explaining or doubling each other, the messages result from the interplay of image and word: they lie between the two.
The exhibition reduces the means one more time with a selection of isolated images and without verbal support. Each individual image, snatched from the stream of self-perpetuating events, speaks only for itself; at best, it points to an otherwise invisible context. Film, book and photo exhibition, even if they are about one and the same reality – the survival of a form of North Asian shamanism in a mountainous region of the Himalayas – they each seek in a different way to test the possibilities of ethnographic witnessing.
Opening + Book Launch: Friday, 20th August 2021, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Exhibition dates: Friday, 20th August – Saturday, 4th September 2021
Image caption: Michael Oppitz, 1984
Exhibition Michael Oppitz – Galerie Buchholz | Contemporay Art – Zeitgenössische Kunst – Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin