© Jorge das Neves

© Jorge das Neves

Louidgi Beltrame

Mesa Curandera, 2018
HD full-spectrum video, 5.1 sound, 170’, loop
Courtesy of the artist

For twelve nights, Louidgi Beltrame filmed a collective healing ceremony called a Mesa [table/altar] with healer [curandero] José Levis Picón Saguma, whose medicinal practice harks back to pre-Colombian rituals. This ceremony is a form of vernacular medicine using the San Pedro psychoactive cactus to induce a trance; because it is clandestine, the ceremony takes place through the night until dawn and in complete darkness.
The 2h50 film follows the structure and chronology of a ceremony and was shot with a night-vision camera, which not only remains invisible during the shooting, but allows spectators to access a feeling of ritual-ancestral immersion transposed to the space of art.