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Nanda D’Agostino

first performed on February 01, 2020
Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
performed once in 2020


Los Angeles


I was invited by curator-in-residence Justin Hoover to develop a solo show Nierika: Santuario Somático at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center. To activate the space, I hosted the “Etheric Bodies Ceremony” on opening day, shortly before stay at home orders were announced due to the COVID-19 crisis. My intention behind this ceremony was for it to act as an activator for the exhibition and to bring together the community and collectivize our sacred energies together.

I started off the ceremony by offering sacred smoke from some white sage that had been gifted to me by a Tongva elder. I offered the smoke and said some internal prayers as I walked around the gallery space and touched upon the four sacred directions of the space. I was wearing a red veil over my face, green leggings, and a tie-dye purple and white tunic. After this, I proceeded to invite everyone into a large open room, commonly used for dance rehearsals, adjacent to the gallery. Within this space, we had set up a circle with black chairs. The chairs were broken up in one end by a white pedestal with two bottles of Presence, an aura spray created for the event, with a candle placed in between them. The aura spray was made in a base of mountain spring water infused with flower essences and essential oils.

The ceremony began with a guided visualization after participants were able to spray themselves with some of the Presence aura spray. The visualization invited them to commune and collaborate with the plant spirits, the energies of the land, the history of the space, and each other. The ceremony culminated with the participants verbally stating the energetic offerings and intentions they wanted to imbue into the aura spray for future participants to receive.

I thanked everyone in the circle and offered space for the large gathering of participants outside of the circle to offer their intentions. After this, the ceremony was concluded and I stood up and walked out with the two bottles of aura spray and placed them in the main exhibition space. These bottles were placed on a large pedestal next to a journal, beneath the pedestal was a rug and six pillows that I created for the exhibition. Visitors to the exhibition were invited to spray themselves, sit with the aura essence, connect with the art, and write in the journal.