Diana Policarpo’s hallucinations throughout Europe
14.07.2022, News

Les Filets d’Hyphes is at Crac Occitanie, in the south of France, and Ciguatera is at Ocean Space, in Venice.

After Porto’s municipal gallery (2020) and Kunsthall Trondheim (2021), the installation Nets of Hyphae, opened in early July to CRAC Occitanie, in Sète. This time curated by El Tuprin and Filipa Oliveira, and in partnership with Anozero’21-22 – Contemporary Art Biennale in Coimbra, Nets of Hyphae is a large installation with multiple video projections, drawings silkscreened on fabric, and sound pieces.

The installation tells many stories that have as a starting point Claviceps purpurea, also known as ergot of rye, a fungus that lives as a parasite that causes convulsions, ardour, and hallucinations. In the Middle Ages, it was the cause of St. Anthony’s Fire disease. In small doses, it was used by healers to facilitate abortions. Policarpo’s pieces weave connections between these practices, the health of women, reproductive justice, and the contemporary world.

Meanwhile, the artist has another big exhibition, The Soul Expanding Ocean #4: Diana Policarpo. Ciguatera, curated by Chus Martínez, that opened in April at Ocean Space, in Chiesa di San Lorenzo, in Venice. Ciguatera is a huge installation with film and sound, and it is composed by several large-scale sculptures, the biggest installation to date by Policarpo.

The starting point of this installation was a research trip to the Savage Islands, part of Madeira, in the North of the Atlantic Ocean. Ciguatera, is a disease caused by contaminated fish, that infects sailors and people that live on the coast. It provokes vomiting, nausea, and like ergot of rye, hallucinations.

Ciguatera is at Ocean Space, in Venice, until October 2nd. At the same time, the 59th Venice biennale is happening, curated by Cecilia Alemani, and titled The Milk of Dreams (like Leonora
Carrington’s book), gathering for the first time more than 90% of women artists. Les Filets d’Hyphes is at Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain da Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée until July 31st.