27th June 2009

Proposal No.27

Monomyth

Monomyth is a touring exhibition inspired by the writngs of Joseph Campbell, who was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: “Follow your bliss.

Taken from Campbell’s book ‘The Hero with a Thousand  Faces” Monomyth (often referred to as the hero’s journey) as used within the field of comparative mythology refers to a basic pattern supposedly found in many narratives from around the world.

Originally titled How to Read a Myth, and based on the introductory class on mythology that he had been teaching at Sarah Lawrence College, The Hero with a Thousand Faces was published in 1949. Not only did it introduce the concept of the hero’s journey to popular thinking, but it also began to popularize the very idea of comparative mythology itself—the study of the human impulse to create stories and images that, though they are clothed in the motifs of a particular time and place, draw nonetheless on universal, eternal themes.

The basic structure of a Monomyth can be deconstructed by these three points:

Departure

Initiation

Return

Mike Nelson, Rosalind Nashasnibi and Dan Graham will create works individually in response to these actions of a Monomyth. Each artist’s response will inhabit a room and the viewer will be asked to journey through each room. The exhibition will be toured across europe, signifiying a journey, with it eventually returning to the original point of its departure.

M.James

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