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A Conversation with Alejandro Jodorowsky
Tuesday 15 August 2017, 1.00pm – 2.00pm, Lecture Room, IMMA Alejandro Jodorowsky and Rachael Thomas, Head of Exhibitions, IMMA come together in conversation to discuss the ongoing importance and influence of the tarot, spirituality, love and the occult in Jodorowsky’s legendary multidiscipline practice, considered by many one of the most accomplished artists and cinema directors of our time.
As an artist, film director, actor, writer, poet and a recognised Master of the Tarot, Jodorowsky’s discusses the potential of the tarot as a visual language to activate a deep psychological search that can awaken our consciousness, the drive behind his philosophy that art can heal spiritually and psychologically. Some of Jodorowsky’s most iconic avant-garde films, Pyschomagic collective workshops and collaborative art projects featured in IMMA’s As Above, So Below exhibition programme will be explored in a visual arts context.
Further Information Programmed as part of the IMMA: As Above, So Below - Talk Series (13 April – 27 August 2017), exploring the role of spirituality and transcendence in our contemporary lives. In association with the Irish Film Institute (IFI).
About Artist Alejandro Jodorowsky is a Chilean scholar in comparative religion, playwright, director, producer, composer, actor, mime, comic book writer, tarot reader, historian and psychotherapist. He is perhaps best-known for the 1970 film El Topo.
The son of Jewish Ukrainian immigrants, Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in the north of Chile in 1929. Entering the theatre at an early age, Jodorowsky eventually enrolled at the University of Chile, where he developed an interest in puppetry, poetry and mime.In 1955 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He worked both in mainstream theatre (directing Maurice Chevalier) and offbeat productions. With surrealists Roland Topor and Fernando Arrabal,he created the Panic Movement. In 1968, Jodorowsky shot his first feature film Fando Y Lis' in Mexico. The film provoked a riot when it debuted at the 1968 Acapulco Film Festival. However, it was El Topo (1971), hailed by John Lennon as a masterpiece, which catapulted Jodorowsky’s career, starting the Midnight Movies phenomenon. In 1973, The Holy Mountain premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and is still considered today his most daring film. Jodorowsky's filmography also includes Tusk (1979), the critically acclaimed Santa Sangre (1989) and The Rainbow Thief (1990), starring Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole. His newest film, Endless Poetry (2015), an excavation of his teenage and early adult years, picks up where his 2013 psycho-memoir (The Dance of Reality) left off, with an army of grotesques and dwarves, strained familial relations, and a riot of symbolism
Describing himself as a true Renaissance man, Jodorowsky has also developed a career as a graphic novelist, collaborating with famous illustrators like Moebius and Juan Gimenez, as a writer and as a specialist in the art of Tarot. From his practice as a tarot reader, his years working in the theatre and influenced by psychoanalysis, he has developed a mixture of psychotherapy and shamanism called Psychomagic. Alejandro Jodorowsky currently lives in Paris with his wife Pascale Montandon whose work is also featured in the IMMA exhibition, As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics (13 April – 27 August 2017).