Press release: Funeral High

Funeral High is a solo exhibition by Brendan Michal Heshka

Opening reception: 19th of March 2022 at 15h00 - 22h00 EXGIRLFRIEND Lankwitzer Str. 14, 12107 Berlin.

Running from 18.03.22 - 31.03.22 by appointment
Since the time you were born, I am the mother that never stops bringing you into the world.

The exhibition introduces a collection of ancient ceramic vessels. Each of the ceramics in this rare collection are host to a common yet exceptional fungus, the mycelium of the Amanita Muscaria mushroom, commonly called the Fly Agaric, the world’s most famous mushroom that nobody knows. Heshka’s speculation is that these ceramics all contain the very same properties as the mythic Holy Grail. Legends and stories of the grail echo down through the ages, whispering to us, of power and wisdom living in a cup. Stories of wondrous cauldrons and magic bowls whose drink of healing, poetry, and inspiration never runs out.

The Secret of the Grail is ancient, the stories predate Christianity, old myths that were adopted by the Church. The word Grail comes from the Celtic ‘Greal’, which means a brew of inspiration. The grail is mysterious, yet it is real, it can be understood. The grail is magical, yet like all magic once the secret is understood, it’s very simple. Following a recipe recovered from clues hidden in the Bible, Heshka uses the clay pots to brew an ancient tincture, a magical non-alcoholic wine, or ‘ambrosia’ that recreates what would have been one of the oldest cultivated intoxicants known to civilization. A sacred, immortal hallucinogenic plant crushed and consumed as a beverage. When time passes the remnants of the pulverized fungus dry up and turn to dust. But when provided a suitable container, the Amanita leave their vital spirit behind, now living in the pores of the magic cup. Turning water to wine the fungus is regenerated in a cycle that could last forever.

The secret hidden in the wine comes from the living pots and is animated in our body as we make a toast and drink.—“Do not offer me your hand, for I shall immediately cause it to rot. Offer me your consciousness. Disappear within me”. Together we will serve our ancient drink amongst a selection of Heshka’s most recent art works made here in Berlin. What joy! What immeasurable joy!