Labyrinths, Shamanism

1987 - 1990

New sojourns in Amazonia (French Guinea) in 1987 and 1989 allow Jean Hirtzel to deepen his knowledge of shamanism. He sees in the shaman a sort of artist double, following the same quest. Geographical space is no longer what he wishes to translate pictorially, but instead the mental space of masters of travel between worlds. This research is carried out through themes of “labyrinths” and “Shamanic signs”.

The labyrinth, a figure which is found in very diverse cultures, is a symbol of the initiator voyage. Jean Hirtzel elaborates on this theme in different ways : labyrinths that are open or closed, sometimes tangled and show the movements of human beings who don’t know themselves and lose their way trying to get to know themselves.

"Shamanic signs”, as produced by Jean Hirtzel, allude to the common ability of the shaman and the visual artist to “create worlds” in order to pass them on.