Joachim Koester Interview: A Dark Sea of Awareness



Danish artist Joachim Koester discusses his acclaimed black-and-white film from 2009, which wordlessly investigates the legendary American author Carlos Castaneda’s idea that a certain set of exercises can help us “navigate the dark sea of awareness.”

The beguiling silent film ‘To navigate, in a genuine way, in the unknown necessitates an attitude of daring, but not one of recklessness (movements generated from the Magical Passes of Carlos Castaneda)’, is based on the notion of ‘the magical passes’ by bestselling American author and anthropologist Carlos Castaneda (famous for ‘The Teachings of Don Juan’, 1968, which described his training in shamanism). Castaneda claimed that these powerful and spiritual exercises could lead to a sort of awakening, not in the conventional reality, but in a hidden reality.

“What really interests me is a certain knowledge that resides in the body, which is on the borderline of words.” We sense and know things that we can’t express, and Koester is interested in the notion that the body remembers: “Every muscular contraction has an origin and a history.”

Joachim Koester (b. 1962) is a conceptual artist from Copenhagen, Denmark. He works principally in still photography, video, text and installation, weaving together documentary and fiction. Koester has had solo exhibitions in international venues such as Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Francisco, The Ian Potter Museum of Art in Melbourne, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Gallery Nicolai Wallner in Copenhagen.
Also featured in the video is Danish poet and performer Morten Søkilde (b. 1974), who stars in Koester’s film.

Joachim Koester and Morten Søkilde were interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in June 2015.

Camera: Mathias Nyholm
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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