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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 exhibition name I Went Through That Door and I Never Came Back is a quotation by the Dutch artist Melanie Bonajo from her film Night Soil – Fake Paradise, which was a part of the Spiritualitiesexhibition, opening the long-term dramaturgy cycle Other Knowledge in MeetFactory in 2020. Our current exhibition returns to the motif and also concludes the entire long-term cycle. Bonajo’s statement describes her ayahuasca ceremony experience, which influenced her greatly. The theme of fringe experiences associated with altered or expanded states of consciousness and their potential to transform an individual and social structures is the central point of the current exhibition. The symbolism of doors or portals, a passage to another dimension, is extensively expanded in this context and is represented by, for example, Aldous Huxley’s classic The Doors of Perception (1954), which itself references William Blake’s prose The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790), in which Blake writes: “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.” Huxley’s book describes his own mescaline trip experience and concludes that it is the way how to change a person for the better.

The Czech psychiatrist and founder of transpersonal psychology Stanislav Grof uses the term “holotropic experience” in this context. The word holotropic means literally “moving towards wholeness” (from Greek holos – whole and trepein – moving towards something). The framework which our consciousness is related to is psychophysical I and empirical space and time. During altered or expanded states of consciousness, a person breaks loose from such relation frameworks and, primarily, loses their egocentric perception. They experience interconnectedness and togetherness with something that exceeds them and creates them at the same time.

Nowadays, people talk about the third psychedelic wave which is associated predominantly with the renewed interest of science and medicine (especially psychiatry) in therapeutic effects of psychoactive substances. Simultaneously, psychoactive substances tend to appear more and more outside of their subcultural environment and spread into mainstream. We are witnessing the process of psychedelic experience commodification among other things. The phenomenon of microdosing kowtows to our capitalistic system and the widespread interest in traditional ceremonies of the North and South American natives is getting more and more linked to the processes of neo-colonialism. On that account, the third wave has many problematic aspects.

Still, the altered or expanded states of consciousness are not associated just with the psychoactive substance use. We can consider them also in the contexts of meditation, various ritual practices, or even fringe psychological states or “diagnoses”. What connects them is mainly the experience of “loss” or equivocation of I and interconnection with other beings and phenomena. This may lead to rethinking self-consciousness and personal relations to the world. In this very respect, we can understand the altered states of consciousness as significant actors in the process of acquiring deeper knowledge and more nuanced relationship to the universe. As the editorial duo of Sarah Shin and Ben Vickers summarize in the prologue of 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 I Went Through That Door and I Never Came Back exhibition presents a wide spectrum of artistic approaches, media, themes, and personal attitudes of the exhibiting artists who are themselves influenced by their personal experience or even worldview as the altered state of consciousness opened the door for their own practice. It is an invitation to open new doors in our life, whatever strategy we may choose to do it.

I Went Through That Door and I Never Came Back
MeetFactory Gallery
opening: 7. 12. 2022
8. 12. 2022 - 5. 2. 2023
artists: Veronika Šrek Bromová, Mark Fridvalszki, Jana King Kochánková, Tomáš King, Haroon Mirza, Lucie Rosenfeldová, Windy Fur Rundgren, Tai Shani, Jeremy Shaw, Vladimíra Večeřová
  curator: Tereza Jindrová
graphic design: Jan Matoušek a Michal Landa (Adjacent Possible)

opening hours: 
Monday – Sunday 13:00 – 20:00
15. 12. 2022 open till 18:00 only 
free entry 

Information for visitors