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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Secret Societies and Spirit Boards

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Komposition für einen Rhombus (2007) by Fabian Marti.

Fabian Marti’s print is one of the few works that stood out for me in the press materials for the Secret Societies exhibition which has just opened at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux:

[Secret Societies] deals with the general theme of secret societies through the prism of contemporary art in the current context of media super-exposure – from WikiLeaks to Credit Rating Agencies (CRA), just to quote two current examples. Artists have always been fascinated by the unknown and the occult. But unlike journalists who are mainly focused on investigating present-day news, artists work around the mechanisms of the secret and are better equipped to question the very limits of the ideology of transparency in our era of super-exposure.

Unfortunately many of the works look like the customary state of affairs, with a bunch of contemporary artists doing their usual schtick and not really questioning (familiar gallery buzzword) anything much at all. On the plus side they have a screening of Kenneth Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother, and also a contribution from Cerith Wyn Evans whose Acephalé reworks in neon the André Masson design for Georges Bataille’s Surrealist secret society. Gary Lachman has created an audio guide for the exhibition which is curated by Cristina Ricupero and Alexis Vaillant, and which runs until February 26th, 2012.

For a more determinedly occult showing this month, there’s Spirit Board curated by JL Schnabel at the Articulated Gallery, San Francisco. And elsewhere I’d recommend the work of Scott Treleaven and Jesse Bransford.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The art of Scott Treleaven

 


 

Posted in {art}, {film}, {occult}, {surrealism}.

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3 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Andrew

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    Do you have any book suggestions on this or similar topics?

  2. #2 posted by John

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    Hi Andrew. If you mean occult art, it’s a very broad topic. First you’d have to narrow down the area of interest since “occult” can refer to things as diverse as voodoo, alchemy, witchcraft, Tantric mysticism, the Western tradition of ceremonial magic, etc. The only book I own that specifically deals with a variety of art in a magical context is Magic: The Western Tradition by the late Francis King. Some of the other books in that series from Thames & Hudson explore related areas.

  3. #3 posted by Andrew

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    This is great! Thank you for your suggestion, I’ll hopefully be reading it pretty soon!

 


 

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