Spirit Photography at the MET

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Guest » 09/30/05 08:02 AM

There is a spirit photography show currently running at the MET in NYC that looks to be wonderful. I am surprised and a bit disappointed, however, that in all the blurbs I've read about the show (including today's NY Times - 9-30), there is no mention of magic or magicians at all, not even Houdini.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/30/05 08:53 AM

Two notes for Ricky Jay fans: In association with an exhibit on spirit photgraphy at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Ricky will be giving a lecture on the subject at the Met on November 22. In addition, a collection of Rickys spirit photographs will be on display at the Christine Burgin Gallery running from October 6 to November 26.
The Gallery is pleased to announce the opening on October 6, 2005 of Twixt Two Worlds, an exhibition curated by Ricky Jay and drawn from his extensive collection of material related to the history of deception. Alternately titled The Uninvited Guest: A Magician at the Sance, the exhibition will explore the complicated and revealing relationships between magicians and mediums at the height of the spiritualism movement during the mid to late 19th century. Mediums stealing tricks from magicians, magicians debunking mediums, magicians becoming mediums and vice versa, all played out on the stage as entertainment for an audience no longer sure that seeing is believing. Among the items to be featured in the exhibition are spirit photographs documenting the materializations of some of the most well-known mediums of the day; lithographs, broadsides, publications and holograph letters of the period as well as Houdinis own glass magic lantern slides used in the delivery of his lectures on spiritualism.
Ricky Jay is considered one of the worlds great sleight-of-hand artists. The former curator of the Mulholland Library of Conjuring and the Allied Arts, he is the author of two lauded histories of unusual entertainment: Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women and Jays Journals of Anomalies, both New York Times Notable Books. He has also written The Magic Magic Book for the Whitney Museum of American Art and Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck with photographs by Rosamond Purcell. An exhibition of selected photographs and variously decaying dice from Jays collection is on exhibition at The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles. His most recent book, Extraordinary Exhibitions: Broadsides from the Collection of Ricky Jay, was published in 2005 to accompany a travelling exhibition of the same title. Ricky Jay has defined the terms of his profession for the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Cambridge Guide to American Theater. He has written and hosted his own specials for CBS, HBO, A&E and the BBC. His consulting firm, Deceptive Practices, provides expertise on film, theater and television. His heralded one-man show Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, won the Obie and Lucille Lortell awards, and Ricky Jay: On the Stem, recently enjoyed a six-month run in New York. Both were directed by David Mamet, in whose films House of Games, Things Change, The Spanish Prisoner, State and Main and Heist he has appeared. Ricky Jay can also be seen in many other films including: Tomorrow Never Dies, Magnolia and Boogie Nights and in the television series Deadwood. He is currently appearing in Last Days, directed by Gus van Sant.
On November 22 at 8pm, Ricky Jay will lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in connection with the exhibition The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult.
Fur further information on Twixt Two Worlds please contact Catherine Ecclestone at the gallery: 212/462 2668 or gallery@christineburgin.com
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Richard Kaufman
 
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