Dashi NAMDAKOV, Levitation

Dashi NAMDAKOV (b. 1967)
Bronze, Cast and Patinated
85 x 153 x 38 cm
Edition of 8 + 4AP


NAMDAKOV has repeatedly addressed the theme of Siberian shamanism, with its belief in ancestral spirits and the forces of nature. Still strongly represented in his native region of the Transbaikal, it encompasses rituals of healing, mediation, and sacrifice that are often theatrical and imbued with mystery. According to Buryat tradition, the shaman’s gift is inherited. In Levitation, the artist conveys the state of a man from a shaman clan at the moment of a kamlaniye, a ritual performance reaching ecstasy in order to encounter spirits and receive their guidance. He appears to be flying in space, no longer held to earth by the force of gravity. Levitating in his traditional cloak, the shaman looks almost avian and his totem or ancestral emblem is flying next to him in the form of a small bird. His mouth contorts as he emits a terrible sound. Both the front and back of the shaman’s head look like masks; where is his true face? Namdakov’s technique of grotesque modeling, using an interplay of textures combined with a dark ‘archaic’ patina, gives a mystical verisimilitude to the sculpture and its symbolism. The eerie sense of flight and the unspeakable sound persist, drawing viewers into the heart of the spiritual encounter.