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Black Light

Art and the occult in the 20th century

The exhibition 'Black Light', which is beginning now at CCCB, explores the connections between creators in the second half of the 20th century and different secret societies.

Art is a mystery and it is sometimes enshrouded in other mysteries. Many great creative minds, from antiquity to the present, have been inspired by ideas, sensations and intellectual constructions rooted not only in the culture, religion and emotions of their time, but also in what we could call occult traditions: currents of thought and energy that are esoteric, magical or conserved by secret societies. These connections with theosophy, alchemy, masonry, magic and oriental philosophy are vast in scope and have been very influential in the development of creative fields like rock, jazz, underground cinema, abstract painting and literature. And despite the fact that the influence of characters such as Anton LaVey, Aleister Crowley, Georges Gurdjeff, and psychedelic gurus in different scenes and schools is well known, it has not generally been documented in exhibitions or academic books. Until, that is, Black Light appeared at CCCB.

The exhibition, which was conceived by the writer Enrique Juncosa, aims to highlight the relationship between occultism, esotericism and heterodox thought in the art of the second half of the twentieth century, in field ranging from painting (Antoni Tàpies), film (Kenneth Anger), literature (Henri Michaux), comedy (Grant Morrison) and psychology (Carl Gustav Jung), a list to which we can add the names of William S. Burroughs, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Joan Ponç, Derek Jarman, Joseph Beuys, Sun Ra and Genesis P-Orridge, among many others. This cultural incursion into the dark side, illuminated by the black light of alternative knowledge, will take place from 16 May to 21 October.

You'll find more information on the CCCB website.

Publication date: Monday, 14 May 2018
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