A New Ceremony For Hampstead
at Camden Art Centre, London
11 September 2011
A New Ceremony For Hampstead is at once a genuine ceremony and an entertaining engagement with the history of Camden Arts Centre and the local area. As artist in residence at the Centre, Eldret has undertaken extensive research into the folk traditions of the area, resulting in a series of three new works, of which A New Ceremony For Hampstead is the final instalment. Eldret's ceremony will consist of a moving troupe of seven participants, who will journey through the gallery from the Artists' Studio on the first floor, down to the ground floor, through the garden, and back again to the studio. At the end of the procession, visitors will witness the ceremonial finale in front of a shrine created in the Studio space.
A New Ceremony For Hampstead is part of a larger investigation by Eldret into contemporary rituals and the role they play in society today. Here, the seven performers will be dressed in dark grey capes and various coloured hoods. Referring to the seven candles burned by followers of the cult of 'Maximon' in northwest Guatemala, each colour symbolizes a different category of 'wish' (followers of Maximon can wish for both good and evil). Such rituals can be seen as forms of both entertainment and community building, and, as such, their impact can be observed on both a global and local scale.
This ceremony was developed as part of a residency at Camden Art Centre, August - September 2011.
photographer: Dan Weill