In the 70s, the building that currently houses de Appel was home to De Kosmos Meditation Center which, with its sauna facility and yoga, psychotropic drug and Primal Scream rebirthing sessions together with other alternative therapies made Prins Hendrikkade 142 an important spiritual hub in Amsterdam's pioneering New Age counter-culture.
Ruchama Noorda and Vera Hofmann research and make work on alternative methods of healing, digging up ancient therapies, queering contemporary ones, appropriating, remixing and reformulating them in an artistic, empowering DIY attempt. They are both on a quest for cure and to achieve a higher sensitivity for social and political conditions, interpersonal and intrapersonal connections. One part of this was the video screening of The Shepherdess, in which Vera Hofmann and Ruchama Noorda together immersed into the world of plant based and psychoactive healing.
The collective viewing of this piece in the sanatorium of de Appel prepared the participants for a transformative descent into the unacknowledged parts of themselves.
The video takes the viewers on a journey with the Shepherdess (Salvia Divinorum) and narrates the travel back and forth across species, through multiple time layers, unevenly realised digital landscapes, outer and inner space, from analogue to digital, from ocean bed to childhood swimming pool to (cardboard) kidney dish. For the Shepherdess all scales are equal, all surfaces are permeable, all material transmutable.
Because I can swim in the immense
Because I can swim in all forms
……… I am the shepherdess