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Visitors to this year’s Venice Biennale can stroll through the Pavilion of Shamans—just one example of the increasing presence of shamanism and mysticism in the work of contemporary artists. This uptick comes amid a reexamination of ideas that were once associated with the countercultural movements of the 1960s and ’70s, including a second look at psychedelics. On this episode, we explore the wider history of shamanic practices across the globe—and how they’ve intersected with the art world throughout the decades.
This podcast is hosted by Artsy Associate Editor Isaac Kaplan, joined for this edition by Senior Editor Tess Thackara and Executive Editor Alexander Forbes. It was produced by Editorial Associate Abigail Cain.
Intro music: “Something Elated” by Broke For Free
Cover image: Jeremy Shaw, Liminals, 2017. Courtesy the artist and KÖNIG Galerie, Berlin.