June 10, L.A.: "The Alchemy of Things Unknown" opening at Khastoo

This looks intriguing. Here’s the press release…

The Alchemy of Things Unknown (and a Visual Meditation on Transformation)
at Khastoo Gallery (7556 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046 / (323) 472 6498 )

June 10 – July 31, 2010

Opening reception: Thursday, June 10th, 6pm – 8pm
With a film performance by Raha Raissnia, sound by Charles Curtis.

“After the cursing comes laughter, so that the soul is saved from the dead.”
– Carl Gustav Jung, The Red Book

This exhibition intends to examine and expose individual works of art in relation to theosophy, sacred tradition and devotional practice. From William Blake’s illuminated works of divine imagination to Carl Gustav Jung’s drawings of collective symbolic unconscious, the visual is undoubtedly an integral creative tool for reaching, exploring, animating and pervading the indefinable spaces beyond body and mind.

The artists in this exhibition, some more explicitly than others, sought after or seek spiritual truths through art making and employ an almost fervent and reverent experimentation to their practice, one that is both ritualistic and against the grain. This mystic behavior is what defines the show; the persistence on new and unorthodox visual experimentation reaches beyond the worldly sphere to heightened states of consciousness.

This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the generous contributions of William Breeze, Ordo Templi Orientis, Richard Metzger, John Contreras, Scott Hobbs, David Brafman, William Swofford Cameron, Hetty Maclise, and The Estate of Alfred Jensen.

More info:
http://www.khastoo.com

Iain Sinclair: "Unconsciously, I had been operating, all along, as a disenfranchised psychogeographer."

IainSinclair

Here’s a nice follow-on from the Raoul Vaneigem interview, posted earlier this week: British author/poet/journalist Iain Sinclair on what he’s discovered through the years from “motiveless walking” in London. From the Telegraph:

In London, from the first, I walked. As a film student, newly arrived in the early Sixties, I copied the poet John Clare on his feverish escape from Matthew Allen’s asylum in Epping Forest, when he navigated by lying down to sleep with his head to the north. Skull as compass: all the secret fluids and internal memory-oceans aligned by force of desire. Clare returned, as he thought, to Mary, his first love, his muse; to his heart-place, Helpston, beyond Peterborough, on the edge of the dark fens. My drag was cinema, Bergman seasons in Hampstead, Howard Hawks in Stockwell. Or art: the astonishing Francis Bacon gathering at the old Tate, at Millbank, former prison and panopticon. Bacon’s melting apes were robed like cardinals. Naked men, stitched from photographs, wrestled in glass cages.

Motiveless walking processed the unanchored images that infiltrated dreams of the shadow-belt on either side of the Northern Line. I lodged in West Norwood, a house on a hill, like the one I had left behind in Wales. I wandered through mysterious suburbs to the rooms above the butcher’s shop in Electric Avenue, Brixton, where the school was based. Street markets, I discovered, were a significant part of the substance of this place. Walking was a means of editing a city of free-floating fragments. I composed, privately, epic poems conflating the gilded Byzantium of W.B. Yeats with the slap and strut of Mickey Spillane’s California. London was an impossible relativity of historical periods and superimposed topographies.

After Dublin, where I enjoyed four years of apprentice exile, I came to Hackney: perched, settled, stayed. The modestly impoverished zone had the virtue of being unknown, even to itself. Submerging into a novel territory, as a casual labourer, I found both time and means to pursue my obsession with alignments, reforgotten writers, lost rivers, Hawksmoor churches, crime clusters. Street signs and spray-can slogans were a code to be broken. I had no idea, back then, that rogue Parisian intellectuals had already branded these strategies and given them a provocative title: psychogeography.

30 years later, assembling a collection of essays on London, which I called Lights Out for the Territory (after Mark Twain), I realised that, unconsciously, I had been operating, all along, as a disenfranchised psychogeographer. I stalked a defining urban narrative by sleepwalking through downriver reaches, sniffing after faded traces of Thomas De Quincey – and challenging the post-architectural infill of Docklands, the empty hubris of the Millennium Dome, with ritual expeditions that doubled as curses. Compulsive digressions disavowed the bullet-point banalities of developers and promoters. I wrote about pit bulls and satellite dishes. I attended the funeral of that mythical east London gangster Ronnie Kray: the godfather of the ghosted memoir, of mendacious boasts disguised as confessions. The pulp model for self-serving political autobiographies. I looked down on the glittering Thames from Lord Archer’s penthouse. London was revealed as a city of hidden connections and weird coincidences.

I had stumbled on a model for future projects: the walk as a narrative, as a moving film made from static images. This was a method of preparing the writer for an act of occult possession: in the way that William Blake was captured by the spirit of John Milton in the form of a star striking his heel. Considerations of the present Olympic Park in the Lower Lea Valley would begin by employing the Lights Out for the Territory template…

Read on at the Telegraph

Today's Autonomedia Jubilee Saint – WILLIAM BLAKE


August 12 — William Blake
Major English romantic poet, mystic, subversive.

August 12, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
Surrey, England: MITCHAM FAIR. A “Charter Mayor” is selected, who
opens the three-day fair with a four-foot key to unlock the joys of the
fair. A great variety of games and amusements.
Scotland: THE GLORIOUS 12TH opens grouse-hunting season.

ALSO ON AUGUST 12 IN HISTORY…
1653 — First police force formed in present U.S., in New Amsterdam.
1812 — Lady Ludd leads English women in riots over bread prices.
1827 — English romantic poet William Blake dies, London, England.
1843 — First Fourierist phalanx founded in U.S.
1896 — Klondike gold rush begins, Yukon Territory, Canada and Alaska.
1955 — German novelist Thomas Mann dies, Kilchberg, Switzerland.
1992 — Anarchist composer and musician John Cage dies, New York