When you spill salt, do you throw some over your shoulder? Do you knock on wood when you want something good to happen or blow out birthday candles after making a wish? What about stepping on sidewalk cracks, killing spiders, shattering mirrors and opening an umbrella indoors?

Curator, artist and magic thinker Erich Weiss assembled a wonderful cast for this subject: Nina Beier & Simon Dybbroe Møller, Otto Berchem, Pierre Bismuth, Santiago Borja, Ulla von Brandenburg, Stefan Brüggemann, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Keren Cytter, Uri Geller, Joachim Koester, Germaine Kruip, Nils Nova, Joanna Piotrowska, John Stezaker and Mungo Thomson.

Artists have always had a fascination with phenomena that defy rational explanation. The surrealists were obsessed with the analysis and creative possibilities of dream states. Authors including Antonin Artaud, William S. Burroughs, and Alan Ginsberg explored (sometimes with help of drugs) the boundaries between reality and fiction. Directors Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovski captured the way superstition informed the imagination and consciousness.

The show opens with the hearts stealing (visual) artist/magician Uri Geller. This miracle-monger from Israel became world famous with his tricks, like bending metal spoons with his mind. The artist Ulla von Brandenburg uses theatrical devices to make us doubt about what is real or not, possible or impossible. Keren Cytter exploits all possible special effects used in film industry for the realization of her videos. Joachim Koester takes us on a journey to a subterranean world; a ‘road used by the dead’. Germaine Kruip explores in a site-specific installation the mind-blowing forces of the Aranmula Kannadi objects of India.

Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij, 2018.

Marres receives structural support from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Municipality of Maastricht and the Province of Limburg.

Superstition is made possible with the support of the Danish Arts Foundation, Pro Helvetia and Mondriaan Fund, the public cultural funding organization focusing on visual arts and cultural heritage. The Mondriaan Fund contributed to the artists’ fees through the experimental regulations.