|Vance Gellert, Mercado de Brujas|
Gellert used medium- and large-format film cameras to bring out details and vibrant colors, to evoke a spirit of place; photography, he says, captures images infused with layers of meaning and nuance that give the recorded facts a human and emotional connection. His photograph of the Mercado de las Brujas in La Paz, for example, shows an herb market — plants, bones, llama fetuses, packaged remedies — through which visitors must pass to get to the modern pharmacy beyond. The photographs, he says, "were made on my quest to understand ritual and belief systems in medicinal plant usage in Bolivia and Peru. The ones presented are those I've gathered to date that best recreate the psychic and spiritual experiences of my journey."
|Vance Gellert, Norma Panduro Navarro|
loosely follow my travels, beginning and ending in La Paz, Bolivia, with travels to the lowlands of the Amazon basin and the Andean highlands in between. I encountered a very wide variety of practitioners of plant and traditional medicine, from extensively published professors at the University of Cuzco and university plant researchers in Cochabamba, Bolivia to a funky ayahuasquero in the jungle hills of Bolivia. I spent much time with Carlos Prado, a dedicated medico naturalista who is establishing an international school of natural medicine in Cochabamba. I made sojourns to the Kallawaya medicine men of Curva, Bolivia and attended conference on shamanism and ayahuasca in Iquitos, Peru. Ayahuasca is the potent hallucinogenic potion of the lowlands to which is ascribed many spiritual and diagnostic powers in healing and wellness. An investigation into the plant medicines of South America is incomplete without considering the place of ayahuasca in this milieu.
|Vance Gellert, Guillermo Alevero|
Gellert's website is here, and some photographs in the exhibit are in a folder entitled Chamane Indigeno: Ritual and Medicinal Plants in South America. A review is here. If you are going to be in Minneapolis before August 10, check it out.