Wednesday, November 4, 2020

THE GUARDIAN: "The Occult's Return to Art"

From Hettie Judah's 11-4-20 GUARDIAN article entitled "The Occult's Return to Art: 'Before, You'd Have Been Laughed Out of the Gallery'":

There is a surge of interest in spirituality and mysticism at the moment, currently manifesting in both art practice and gallery programming, which extends to exhibitions such as Tantra at the British Museum, and The Botanical Mind at Camden Art Centre. In truth, things have been a bit witchy, a bit shamanic, in the art world for a few years. But this wave feels different: heavier, darker, more engaged. Rather than the hipster witchery of a few years ago, this new spirituality is rooted in explorations of feminism, anti-colonialism and alternative power structures.

It is also, perhaps, a response to the fear and anxiety of the current moment. “I think this surge in esoteric beliefs tends to show up in moments of crisis, when things are feeling uneasy and unsettled on a good day, and bereft of hope on the worst of them,” says S Elizabeth, author of The Art of the Occult. Growing up surrounded by richly decorated tarot cards and zodiac posters designed by Alphonse Mucha, Elizabeth sees the occult and art as inseparable.

As well as offering the consolations of ritual, Elizabeth describes the occult as a source of anti-authoritarian power. Much of the art in her book is by women, many – such as the Swedish theosophist Hilma af Klint or the surrealist mystic Remedios Varo – marginal figures in their time....

To read the entire article, click HERE.

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