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MeetFactory, o. p. s.
Ke Sklárně 3213/15
150 00 Praha 5


Opening hours:
13:00 do 20:00 + based on evening program

I Went Through That Door and I Never Came Back

Ke Sklárně 3213/15, Praha MeetFactory

8. 12. - 5. 2. 2023 13:00 - 20:00
7. 12. 18:00

The title of the exhibition I Went Through That Door and I Never Came Back is a quote from the Dutch artist Melanie Bonajo’s film Night Soil – Fake Paradise. The film was part of the exhibition Spiritualities, which launched, in 2020, the long-term dramaturgical series Other Knowledge at MeetFactory, and the current exhibition thus makes a roundabout return to the subject and at the same time caps off the entire long-term series.

Bonajo’s statement captured the experience of the ayahuasca ceremony that she underwent and which had a profound effect on her. This subject of limit-experiences associated with altered or expanded states of consciousness and their potential to transform individuals and social structures that sits at the center of this current exhibition.

The symbolism of a door, a portal or a passage into another dimension, is widespread in this context, and is represented, for example, by Aldous Huxley’s classic The Doors of Perception (1954), which in turn refers to William Blake’s prose work The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790), where Blake writes: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” In his book, Huxley describes the personal experience of a mescaline trip and concludes that it may be a potential way of bettering humanity. The Czech psychiatrist and founder of transpersonal psychology, Stanislav Grof, refers in this context to a “holotropic experience”. The word holotropic literally means “seeking wholeness” or “moving towards wholeness” (from the Greek holos – whole and trepein – moving towards something). The framework to which our consciousness relates is the psychophysical self and the empirically understood space and time. In states of altered or expanded consciousness, a person experiences a kind of detachment from these frames of reference and, most importantly, is freed from ego-centric perception. This leads to an experience of interconnectedness and belonging to something that transcends them and simultaneously forms them.

Currently, there is talk of what has been termed the “third psychedelic wave”, which has been associated mainly with the renewed interest of science and medicine (especially psychiatry) in the healing and therapeutic properties of psychoactive substances. At the same time, psychoactive substances are increasingly appearing outside the subcultural environment and are making their way into the mainstream. We are witnessing, among other things, the process of commodification of this type of experience – the phenomenon of microdosing, for example, plays into the capitalist system, and the growing interest in the traditional ceremonies of the indigenous peoples of North and South America is unfortunately increasingly intertwined with the processes of neo-colonialism. Thus, this third wave undoubtedly carries with it a number of issues.

However, altered or expanded states of consciousness are certainly not only tied to the use of psychoactive substances. We may also consider them in the context of techniques such as meditation, various ritual practices, as well as limit-experiences or “diagnoses”. The shared element is primarily the experience of the “loss” or blurring of one’s own self and connection with surrounding beings and phenomena. This may subsequently lead to a re-evaluation of how one understands themself and how they relate to the world. It is in this respect that we can understand altered states of consciousness as important movers on the way to deeper cognition and a more nuanced relationship to the universe.

As the editorial duo Sarah Shin and Ben Vickers summarize in the introduction to the poetry collection Altered States (2021): “Changing our worlds depends on changing ourselves through cultivating consciousness – to understand that integrating, like healing or writing, is a process of remembering how to hold things in relation.”

The exhibition I Went Through That Door and I Never Came Back presents a wide range of artistic approaches, media, subjects and personal attitudes of exhibitors who themselves base their work on personal experience or even their worldview, and for whom an altered state of consciousness opened doors even within their own work. It’s an invitation to open new doors within our lives, regardless of which strategy we use to do so.

I Went Through That Door and I Never Came Back
MeetFactory Gallery
opening: 7. 12. 2022
8. 12. 2022 - 5. 2. 2023

Vystavující / Artists : Veronika Šrek Bromová, Mark Fridvalszki, Jana King Kochánková, Tomáš King, Haroon Mirza, Lucie Rosenfeldová, Windy Fur Rundgren, Tai Shani, Jeremy Shaw, Vladimíra Večeřová
Kurátorka / Curator: Tereza Jindrová
Architektura / Architecture: Jakub Červenka (objektor architekti)
Produkce / Production: Alena Brošková
Asistentka produkce / Production Assistant: Petra Widžová
Grafický design / Graphic design: Jan Matoušek a Michal Landa (Adjacent Possible), Jan Arndt
Instalační tým / Installation team: Adrian Altman, Ondřej Doskočil, Vladimír Drbohlav, Viktória Firmentová, Martin Fischer, Nikol Hoangová, Bianka Chládek, Antonín Klouček, Karel Mazač, Oliver Mazač, Valéria Šebová, Adéla Machoňová

curator's text 
installation photos by Studio Flusser

Opening hours: 
Monday – Sunday 13:00 – 20:00
15. 12. 2022 open till 18:00 only 
Holidays opening  hours: 
24. 12.–26. 12. closed
1. 1. 2023 closed

free entry 

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