ξόρκια / INCANTATIONS





ξόρκια / incantations is an on-going project that researches the traditions and rituals from past and present cultures all over the world and the relationship between magic and science. 


Ceremonial magic has a lot to do with clarity of purpose, commitment, preparation, concentration, visualisation, patience and timing: everything neuroscientists and psychologists advise you to consider and practice in order to improve your quality of life. All that, and to step out of the ordinary, out of your routine; to broaden (and surprise) your mind. 


Since the beginning of time, humans have created forms of narratives to explain what they understood of their environment and experiences. Ceremonial magic is a form of narrative, laced with anecdotes, adventures, superstitions and riddles from a time no longer relevant to our way of life or means of communication. It’s a language that’s dated and this largely accounts as to why “magic” is now obsolete. 


Rituals and incantations are based on hundreds or thousands of years of observations, on trial and error and on our physical and psychological relationship with nature. Nowadays, nature’s cycles no longer determine our daily routine. Science is the narrative we use today to tell stories about how we perceive the world to work. It is part of our everyday lives: it determines how we nourish ourselves, it constructs our means of transport, our entertainment and health system. Science governs our way of thinking, how we come to conclusions and make decisions.


People from both the scientific and occult worlds have come to similar observations that hold universal truths; in the same way, they have all come to conclusions that are false. I am researching into the similarities between these two languages and creating incantations of my own that are conveyed through the combination of photography and text and presented in the form of a postcard. I create each magical ritual based on my own experiences and by using symbolism or certain elements from a specific culture whilst cross examining how the scientific world supports the process or the components that make up each incantation. It is important that the artwork is passed on rather owned and that it's affordable, which is why the rituals come in the form of postcards.


I have been selected to participate on an expeditionary residency programme in the Arctic Circle. The programme invites artists and scientists to develop their work aboard a specially outfitted Barquentine sailing vessel by exploring the high-Artic Svalbard Archipelago and Arctic Ocean. There, I will have the chance to develop incantations inspired by proverbs, traditions, rituals and the folklore myths and legends of the indigenous people that live/lived within the Arctic Circle. 

Postcards available for sale on my Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/ZEMMZEN

If you are interested in supporting this project please contact me via email or take a look at my Patreon page for monthly donation options: www.patreon.com/artevlo