2020 — present
Amanita plays a symbolic role in the culture of many countries, being both attractive and repulsive. Many people believe that it is deadly poisonous. Indeed, that has been used for centuries to kill insects, from which it got its name. Others, on the contrary, are sure that it is a delicacy, can be used as a medicine, cosmetic and massage agent, and an antidepressant.
In ancient times, fly agaric was used in shamanistic rituals to meet spirits and was considered a way to magical reality. Perhaps it was fly agaric practices that served as the basis for a number of plots and characters of ancient myths and fairy tales. There is a renaissance in the use of fly agaric in the world: its microdoses are used to treat depression, as a tonic; the visual of fly agaric is used in art and design; neo-pagans use it in their rituals, but it still remains a symbol of the most poisonous and dangerous mushroom.
The duality in relation to the fly agaric, ranging from admiration to horror, reflects the ambiguity of a person’s perception of traditional culture and magic, which combines mistrust, fascination, irony and fear.
“Amanita Muscaria”, personal exhibition at Art Kvartal, Yerevan. May, 2022.