Sagi Groner presents a large series of self-portraits that unite to offer a visual expression of the notion of Self. This portrait is inspired by his year-long investigation and visits with Shamans throughout China and Inner Mongolia. His coded portrayal of the personal and archetypal ponders on the symbolic and psychological, where consciousness interfaces with cult and culture to define the idea of Self.
In Shamanism, art is used as a personal method to exercise the shadow content of the psyche and introduce it to the conscious mind. In this sense art is very literally viewed as psychic therapy, and is a path to levels of self-contemplation and inner awareness. In revealing inner worlds to the dominant personality, the mask plays a vital role, in which sense it acts as an instrument of exposure rather than concealment. The Psychonaut fragments the idea of a unified Self, and “unmasks” the multiplicity of forces within consciousness, their relationships with one another and with influences from a perceived external world.
Psychonaut– (from the Greek ψυχή (psychē “soul/spirit/mind”) and ναύτης (naútēs “sailor/navigator”) – a navigator of the soul. Psychonautics is the exploration of the psyche by means of techniques such as meditation, prayer, lucid dreaming, sensory deprivation, and the use of hallucinogenics or entheogens. It rests on the realization that to study consciousness is to transform it. A psychonaut is one who seeks to investigate their psyche using intentionally induced altered states of consciousness for creative, spiritual or research purposes.