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Under a Spell: The Witchcraft of Elena Bajo

Elena Bajo | Photo: Matías Muñoz-Rodríguez.
Elena Bajo | Photo: Matías Muñoz-Rodríguez.


By Isabelle Le Normand and Anuradha Vikram

What is a witch?

A witch — typically a female (men, having powers, are granted more noble titles such as “magician” or “wizard”) upsets the social order, the rational order. A witch is an anarchist. A witch is an artist.

Elena Bajo pushes this question further, giving us a multiform answer that is not expressed merely with language, but with a full sensory exploration communicated by dance, sound, and experience in her exhibition “With Entheogenic Intent (Burn the Witch)” at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.

Bajo is the current Artist Lab Resident at 18th Street Arts Center, the largest continuous artist residency program in Southern California. Its core gallery program, Artist Labs, stimulates public dialogue around the role of artists in society through process-based, commissioned projects intending to foster exploration and experimentation and provide in-depth opportunities for artists to critically develop their practice. Structured as both a residency and an exhibition, individual artists or collectives develop new work and generate provocative programming. Bajo’s exhibition opens this Saturday, February 1.

Read more on KCET Artbound

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