New age esotericism is only one of several ‘alternative’ belief systems which claim to have discovered their own (spiritual, political or pseudo-scientific) model of ‘truth’. Esoteric theories – no matter how speculative or irrational they may be – are slowly but surely making their way into the center of mainstream society. They are not only games played with the hopes of gullible or desperate people, they are also profitable business models somewhere in between marketing and promises of salvation.
Klaus Pichler wanted to know more: for a period of two years, he immersed himself into the scene by pretending to be a fanatic esoteric. He joined online forums, attended esoteric fairs and gatherings, familiarized himself with relevant theories, ordered products and made use of services. This enabled him to gain an inside view of the irrational world of esotericism, filled with remote healing, aura sprays and unicorn essences. In the process, he witnessed a mixture of credulity, quackery and betrayal.
The result of Klaus Pichler’s approach is the series ‘This will change your life forever’ consisting of pictures of products, re-staging of images found on online forums and visualizations of esoteric theories.