The Blavatsky Society

The Blavatsky Society is a bright new project initiated by Cristina Maldonado that brings together international artists from varying backgrounds and experience currently based in the Czech Republic. The In the House of ________ séance opens up issues such as knowledge vs. belief, time and distance, and spiritualism. It revives the phenomenon of connecting with the spirits of those who have passed away with living beings. Their artistic approach combines performance, video, sound and light with archival material.

Blavatsky Society: Cristina Maldonado, Jennifer Helia DeFeliceŠárka ZahálkováSara Pinheiro & Vladimír Burian
Image: The Seance by AMTK

Glossary for the performance:
belief systems: the stories we tell ourselves to define our personal sense of reality;
knowledge: facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education;
illusion: an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience;
pseudoscience: a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method;
seance: a meeting at which people attempt to make contact with the dead,especially through the agency of a medium;
scrying: the practice of looking into a translucent ball or other material to see spiritual visions. the most common media used are reflective,translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke;
channeling: the practice of entering a meditative or trancelike state in order to convey messages from a spiritual guide;
psychomagic: practice that relies on the belief that the unconscious mind takes a symbolic act as a fact. So a symbolic act could accordingly help solve some types of non rational conflicts;
psychography: the writing of a spirit or medium;
EVP: sounds found on electronic recordings that are interpreted as spirit voices that have been either unintentionally recorded or intentionally requested and recorded;
ectoplasm: a supernatural viscous substance that exudes from the body of a medium during a spiritualistic trance and forms the material for the manifestation of spirits;
documentary: using pictures or interviews with people involved in real events to provide a factual report on a particular subject

Cristina Maldonado - Mexican performer and artist concerned with low-tech, low-fi, media appropriations and relational aesthetics. Currently she is focused on The Stranger Gets a Gift, a project for exchanging experiences between strangers in an anonymous way through installations and actions designed for one person at a time. Her background is in choreography and modern dance.

Šárka Zahálková is member of the Offcity Collective, an independent platform acting within fields of arts, architecture, community work and art production based in Pardubice, CZ. She has strong experience of collaborative creative projects, but she also works as a single artist. Her background is in hand drawing, illustration and animation. She is interested in working with public space, its perception and memory.

Jennifer Helia DeFelice was born in New York and is of Italian, Irish and Native American descent. She is currently interested in the role of nature and the forest in Czech performance art. She has worked on numerous projects as a designer, translator and curator and plays the double bass. One of her favorite pastimes is reading to her children.

Sara Pinheiro - Portuguese sound-maker. On film and video art, she does sound recording, editing, foley and mixing. On her own, she makes acousmatic pieces, usually for multichannel performances, radio broadcasts or installations. She is a guest lecturer both at The Institute of Sonology and at CAS, in FAMU (Czech Republic).

Vladimir Burian - Czech light designer. He works with digital media and focuses on real-time video. He graduated from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Since 1997, he has worked as a light technician and light designer mostly for alternative and dance theatre. He is a member of the Institute of Light Design and member of collective Daylight Workers.