The title - Totem - stems from ancient traditions in cultural history and religion such as animism and totemism. These are belief systems practiced by indigenous peoples that consider the connection between culture, nature and the cosmos as holistic. Animism is the belief that everything in nature, both the organic and the inorganic, has a soul in the same way as human beings. Among the animistic believers, a totem is an object, subject or place of worship that aims to gather and strengthen the group’s identity and cohesion. A totem can be either a tree, an animal, a mountain or a river. By exploring various elements of the spirituality and mythology and embedding these notions within her own work, Raben Davidsen asks how we can view and re-appreciate the meaning of these ancient traditions and belief systems anew.
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Watch the TOTEM film - a portrait of Cathrine Raben Davidsen - by Alex Archimbaud for Royal Copenhagen here
© Cathrine Raben Davidsen