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New witchcraft museum features occult artifacts once owned by Aleister Crowley


 
Any discussion of Wicca in America must begin with Raymond Buckland. A disciple and correspondent of English Wicca’s acknowledged father Gerald Gardner, Buckland established America’s first Wiccan coven on Long Island in the early ‘60s. He literally wrote the book on Wicca, Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft, along with dozens of smaller volumes. In 1968 (some sources say 1966), he established the USA’s first museum of witchcraft. Initially just a showroom in his basement, the collection grew and moved repeatedly, from Long Island to New Hampshire, to Virginia, to New Orleans. Sadly, in NOLA, the collection endured a period of neglect and damage.

Buckland has been an Ohioan since 1992, and two years ago, the collection returned to his Temple of Sacrifice coven, and is now going on display again, in a modest gallery in Cleveland. The Buckland Gallery of Witchcraft and Magick opens on April 29, 2017 in a room off of the Tremont record store A Separate Reality. (An aside—ASR should be a Mecca for punk, jazz, prog, and psych collectors. It’s owner, Gus Payne, has an incredible gift for procuring vinyl Holy Grails, and he’s a really swell guy, to boot.) The space has been a gallery before—a few years ago, under the name “Gallery Wolfy Part II,” it hosted a large exhibition of artwork by Half Japanese singer Jad Fair. That gallery was a white-wall space, but the Buckland incarnation is an intimate and inviting room in blood-red and exposed brick. The gallery’s curators Steven Intermill and Jillian Slane were accommodating enough to give Dangerous Minds some time with the collection. It features artifacts from a number of Wiccan luminaries, and even some possessions of legendary occultist Aleister Crowley’s.
 

Horned God Helmet - there’s a picture of this in The Complete Book of Witchcraft
 

Examples of Baphomet Talismans
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Horror-film worthy sculptures of the human body that are just dying to meet you
03.27.2017
09:57 am

Topics:
Art
Unorthodox

Tags:
sculpture
Francesco Albano


A sculpture by Italian artist Francesco Albano.
 
The work of Italian artist and sculptor Francesco Albano have been highly praised since he got his start nearly two decades ago. And now Turkish director Cansin Sağesen has made a short film about the artist and his grotesquely beautiful sculptures.

In the short, Albano reveals that his father, who was also a sculptor, taught him his craft and that his work is driven by a “childhood urgency.” Albano considers his art to be a form of creative play—much like it would be for a child experimenting with tactile toys like Play-Doh. His sculptures look as if someone has let the air out of a human body like a balloon—which then transforms them into hideous blobs of gelatinous flesh with protruding bones, teeth, and genitalia.

According to Albano, his work is meant to express the idea of how merely existing in modern society can be physically crippling and often destructive leading to the full-on collapse of the human structure, physically and mentally. Once you get that, you’ll see Albano’s work in an entirely new light as perspective breeds a deeper understanding of such things that at first appear to exist for their shock value alone. That said, the images that follow are very much NSFW.
 

“On the Eve” 2013.
 

 

“Lump 2” 2012.
 
More after the jump…

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How to lie in 14 steps: the WikiHow guide to dishonesty
03.24.2017
08:33 am

Topics:
Current Events
Politics
Unorthodox

Tags:
Lying


 
Writing for Esquire in 1969, Gore Vidal laid bare a “demagogic strategy” William F. Buckley used to befuddle opponents:

If one is lying, accuse others of lying. On television this sort of thing is enormously effective in demoralizing the innocent and well-mannered who, acting in good faith, do not lie or make personal insults. Buckley has made many honorable men look dishonest fools by his demagoguery, and by the time they recover from his first assault and are ready to retaliate, the program is over.

Why is this effective? Because the thought of lying in public, where a judge, policeman or journalist might hear, gives good citizens the cold sweats. The mere accusation unleashes the bad conscience of the regular taxpayer and snaps his mind neatly in half. Did I fail to give a full and accurate account? Am I guilty of an act of omission, if not commission? Could I have used a more charitable adjective? Perhaps I did mischaracterize certain of my honorable friend’s views, etc.
 

 
We at Dangerous Minds don’t believe the strategies and tactics of dishonesty should be the preserve of the rich, the powerful, and the stupid, and few other “content providers” will tell you the score. While the New York Times may report on “How to Improve Your Productivity at Work,” the Gray Lady is unlikely to teach you how to play fast and loose with the facts. Less reputable outlets than ours will lie to you, which can be instructive, but they will do nothing deliberately to wise you up.

That’s why, until they start teaching us how to do our own surgeries, WikiHow’s lying clinic is likely to remain their most useful public service. 

I won’t list all of their 14 steps to falsehood, but here are some of the basics. Rehearsal is a key part of the technique. Repetition gives purchase to the most absurd, self-contradictory assertion. There are a few body language tips:

Be sure not to rub your face too much, sway back and forth, or shrug your shoulders a lot. Keep your arms down at your sides rather than folding them across your chest. Don’t blink more often than normal or turn your body away from the person. All of these are signs that you are lying.

(But what if you want people to believe you’re lying? It would be interesting to try all of these gestures at once while scrupulously telling the truth, as an experiment.)
 

 
Another pro tip from WikiHow: lie before you have to. Take the initiative. I think this means you run into the living room with icing in your nostrils and scream “I did not eat the cake that is not missing!”

The Community Q&A covers likely eventualities: “What if the person has found evidence?” “Is covering up your bad deed with a less significant bad deed a good strategy?” “If I need to, how do I force tears?”

This last question is misguided. Just tell the sucker you’re crying.

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Life in McHell: The profoundly evil McDonaldland ‘hellscapes’ of Jake and Dinos Chapman


A tiny version of Ronald McDonald dancing on top of a cross. Part of a ‘hellscape’ by Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Jake and Dinos Chapman have been creating miniature “hellscapes” for nearly twenty years, with their first one being unveiled to the public in 1999. The diabolical work was unambiguously entitled “Hell” and took two years to make. In a not-so-strange twist of satanic fate, the warehouse that “Hell” was residing in caught fire and the pair’s debut hellscape was destroyed within in a matter of minutes. According to the Chapmans they received a phone call from a journalist about the demise of “Hell” asking them if it was true that “Hell” was “on fire”? Now that’s some cosmic irony.

Taking the loss in stride the brothers continued their work and followed up “Hell” with “Fucking Hell” which included over 30,000 figures, and the “Sum of All Evil” which focused on bringing together McDonald’s and Nazi symbolism, tormenting the fictional inhabitants of McDonaldland (you know, the place where French fries grow in gardens, hamburgers grow on trees and friendly fishies frolic around in Filet-O-Fish Lake) with visions of cannibalism, mutilation and death. The multi-faceted hellscape took more than six months to complete with the help of fifteen additional workers. While their hellscapes are about as grim as anything I’ve ever seen (and these eyes have seen a lot of grim), the Chapmans insist that their subversive work is meant to be more humorous than shocking. Here’s more from Jake Chapman on that:

It’s as pessimistic as we can make it, really. But it’s pessimistic in a joyful sense.

Jake’s sentiment made me pause for a moment during which time I recalled my reaction to the final scene in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds wherein the cast gets to rewrite history by obliterating Hitler and his Nazi ilk in a theater. Which was both incredibly gratifying and at times humorous thanks to Tarantino’s uncanny ability to make you laugh while people’s brains are being spattered all over the floor. So, is there joy in seeing a tiny plastic version of Ronald McDonald preparing his signature hamburgers made from the cannibalized remains of dead Nazis? Yes, yes there is some joy there. That said, absolutely everything you are about to see in this post is NSFW. And I’m lovin’ it.
 

A shot of the original “Hell” hellscape by Jake and Dinos Chapman that was ironically destroyed in a fire.
 

A shot of “Fucking Hell” featuring Hitler serenely painting on a hilltop.
 

Another grim angle on “Fucking Hell.”
 
More McHell after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Creepy short video exposes the very unsexy way sex dolls are made (NSFW)
02.22.2017
11:55 am

Topics:
Sex
Unorthodox

Tags:
Realdolls


 
Super Deluxe had a chance to go behind-the-scenes at the RealDoll factory, located in San Marcos, California, and show you how the dolls are really made. There’s nothing, and I mean nothing sexy about the manufacturing of these dolls. In fact, it’s downright creepy. Almost in a Dexter kind of way. The soundtrack to the video doesn’t help either with its creepiness level.


 
The video, obviously, is NSFW even though it’s only latex body parts. You’ve been warned.

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Upside down photographs of faces become intriguing, introspective works of art
02.17.2017
07:21 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Unorthodox

Tags:
photography
Anelia Loubser


A photograph from the series ‘Alienation’ by South African artist, Anelia Loubser.
 
Anelia Loubser is a photographer from South Africa who has only been working in her chosen medium for fewer than ten years. During that short time period, her photographs have been seen in publications all over the world.

According to Loubser, she credits her twin sister with providing her with much of the inspiration that enables her to continue to create her art. In 2014 her fledgling photographic series Alienation created quite a stir as it featured unconventional black and white images of people—including members of her own family—taken at close range allowing them to become something other than what they are. Loubser’s composition of her subjects and their faces cut off just before you can see the formation of their noses—creating a powerful, otherworldly way for something as common as a human face to be perceived by the viewer. While the seemingly simple-sounding concept of photographing someone’s face upside down may seem uninvolved, Loubser’s enigmatic results are impossible to ignore. Here’s more from Loubser on the photographs you are about to see from Alienation:

I saw eyes on unfamiliar faces, and in them lies a whole galaxy of tales to tell. In their eyes, I saw happiness, sadness, excitement, pain, love, curiosity, wisdom and wonder - all these familiar human emotions on unearthed faces. This had such a tremendous impact on me because symbolically they summarized how I seldom feel living in a conflicting inner and outer universe with my own being. And it made my madness seem less messy.

A selection of Loubser’s topsy-turvy faces for you to lose yourself in follow.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Realistic sculptures of free-floating body parts, ‘humans’ trapped in formaldehyde & other oddities


‘Migrants OVIS.’ A sculpture by Sara Renzetti and Antonello Serra.
 
The artististic duo of Sara Renzetti and Antonello Serra hail from Sardinia, Italy where they have been creating thought-provoking sculptures of humans that are as bizarre as they are startlingly realistic. 

Though their work is rather disturbing at first glance, there is also a distinct sense of serenity emanating from their sculptures even as they lay in impossible positions or are conjoined in unorthodox ways—as you will see in the duo’s three-part-series entitled Mentalese-ATTO. And since Renzetti and Serra’s work has left me struggling to find words powerful enough to describe their idiosyncratic life-size (or larger) sculptural creations, here are a few words from the artists themselves on what guides their unique creative direction: 

The body shape here understood as a landscape, it opens to the death of the subject by virtue of investigations, alterations, and tumbles, to which the single vision - experience - not corporal, is able to guess at the beginnings and the boundaries. The subject and the object, from which all the challenges. Look and just becomes a form of expediency in relation to what is continually postponed, suspended and expected. We are on the apocalyptic Tiber, intended as a viewing experience, revelation of a dream that is given to dream.

I am endlessly fascinated by craftsmen that are able to elevate their medium to the level that Renzetti and Serra have with their sculpture, which if I were to attempt to describe it would be something like if the fictional vivisectionist Doctor Moreau enacted his monstrous medical procedures on people, instead of mashing them up with animals. That said, pretty much everything you’re about to see in this post in one way or another are very NSFW.
 

 

‘Horror Vacui.’ 
 

‘I am my Son, my Father, my Mother, and I.’
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
That time the most famous director in Mexico shot a film critic in the balls


 
Even if you’ve never seen one of Emilio Fernandez’s movies—even if you’ve never seen him in Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch or Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia—you’ve seen Emilio Fernandez. According to legend, he was the model for the Academy’s Oscar statuette.

Another legend attached to Fernandez is that he shot a film critic in the balls at one of his parties. Bob Dylan mentions this tale in Sam Shepard’s one-act play Short Life of Trouble:

BOB: You know, Emilio Fernandez used to shoot the critics that didn’t like his movies. At parties.

I first heard this story from the writer Barry Gifford after I tracked him down in Berkeley years ago. He’d heard it from the director and actor Alfonso Arau, who played the part of Herrera in The Wild Bunch. Like a no-nose bike seat, the account in Brando Rides Alone, Gifford’s book about One-Eyed Jacks, supports everything but the testicles:

Mexico’s most famous (along with Luis Buñuel)—certainly most infamous—director, Emilio Fernandez, known as “El Indio” because of his mother’s origins, made many unforgettable films, several featuring María Félix (Enamorada) or Dolores Del Rio (María Candelária, called by Beatriz Reyes Nevares “the classic and most memorable of all Mexican films”); he also directed a version of John Steinbeck’s story The Pearl/La Perla, starring Pedro Armendáriz. […]

Arau told me that after completing a new film Fernandez invited to dinner at his estancia the most prominent film critics from Mexico City. After dinner and undoubtedly many drinks, El Indio screened for them his latest effort, then solicited their opinions. One after another, the critics, stuffed and glowing from whiskey and Tequila, praised the film, telling their host what he wanted to hear, that it was his best to date, possibly another masterpiece, as moving as María Candelária. Then a journalist rose and begged to differ, not impolitely, but making clear his opinion that the new movie, while reasonably effective as melodrama, was not a particularly worthy addition to the maestro’s oeuvre. A silence fell over the room. El Indio, initially uncomprehending and a good two-and-a-half sheets to the wind, finally realized that he was being disrespected on his own turf and drew from beneath his coat a revolver. Without hesitating, he shot the disputatious fool, killing him in front of his fellow guests.

Arau said that for the offense of murdering a critic Fernandez was forced to spend some time in jail (where he was well treated), but since he was a national hero, and the insulting behavior of the deceased was compounded by the fact that at the time of the incident he had been availing himself of El Indio’s hospitality, the director’s sentence was cut short. Emilio Fernandez is a legend. (He died in 1986.) Nobody remembers the name of the dead critic.

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
The homeless woman who made photo-booth art
12.28.2016
08:46 am

Topics:
Art
Kooks
Unorthodox

Tags:
photography
homelessness
Lee Godie

4golsel.jpg
 
Lee Godie (1908-1994) was an outsider artist who spent three decades living rough on the streets of Chicago—with the occasional respite in a flophouse when she had cash.

When you read about Godie there’s always the sentence that states she “spent almost 30-years homeless” or “lived on the streets for nearly thirty years.” The “nearly” and “almost” make it sound cosy—make it all sound like an heroic failure—as if she didn’t quite succeed in living rough for the full thirty years—as in the way we say—she nearly came first in the race or she almost won the lottery. One night sleeping rough on the streets is hell enough for anyone—especially in those cold Chicago winters where the temperature can drop to -30 in the windchill and the radio broadcasts give advice on breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose to prevent nosebleeds.

Somehow Godie managed to live and work while she was homeless between the 1960s and 1990s. She made drawings and paintings with whatever materials she had to hand. She then sold them to commuters on their way to work—but only if she liked the look of you. If she didn’t—then Godie rolled up her portfolio of pictures, put them under her arm, bid you “Good day” and moved on to the next potential buyer. That’s an enviable, if bloody-minded determination.

For Godie chose to live on the streets. She had money—enough to keep her dry, warm and snug. But she preferred living rough. Why? No one seems to be quite sure. At night, in sub-zero temperatures Godie slept on “a concrete bench…clutching her large black portfolio” of artworks. How Godie ended up homeless is open to conjecture. What is known she was married twice and had four children. After the deaths of two of her children, Godie began her life living on the streets in the 1960s.
 
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The drawings and paintings were usually done while sitting on a park bench or on the steps of the Arts Institute. But perhaps her biggest and best known artworks was a series of selfies she made using a photo-booth as her studio.

For these self-portraits Godie dressed-up in her thrift store clothes and posed with props bought from Woolworth’s with the money she made selling her paintings. A Godie painting that was sold for $30 bucks back in the 1980s can fetch over $15,000 today. Godie’s photographs show her playing different roles—the child, the muse, the rich sophisticate like those 1920s Daisy Buchanan flappers she seemed so enamored by in her paintings.

When a newspaper story about Godie—the eccentric homeless artist—appeared in 1988—her daughter Bonnie Blank made contact. One day she was seen sitting beside her mother drawing pictures. On one occasion even sleeping rough with her. Eventually the daughter introduced herself to her long lost mother. Not long after this, Godie was admitted to hospital suffering from dementia. On her release, she went to stay with Bonnie where she remained until her death in 1994.
 
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More of the Lee Godie’s photobooth art, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Unboxing the Los Angeles Free Music Society’s new 13-LP collection—a Dangerous Minds premiere


Members of the Los Angeles Free Music Society, 1976 (photo courtesy of The Box LA and Fredrik Nilsen Studio)
 
In 2012, the Los Angeles Free Music Society celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding, and the LA gallery The Box marked the occasion with the exhibition “Beneath the Valley of the Lowest Form of Music.” Now, under the auspices of Box Editions, a selection from every performance that took place during the run of the show has been painstakingly mastered, pressed on an LP side, and collected in the handsome seven-hour, thirteen-disc set LAFMS BOX BOX

If you’re new to the work of the LAFMS, their music is “free” in every sense. Free in terms of improvisational structure, free expression, and free association; free from generic restrictions, free from inhibitions, free as in liberated, free to come and go, free time, guilt-free, and even free of charge (“The music is free, but you have to pay for the plastic, paper, ink, glue and stamps,” as they say). Perhaps no group of musicians has ever been a better candidate for one of those “family tree” posters head shops used to sell. Not only does the LAFMS comprise a number of interrelated groups, ad hoc configurations of members, and solo excursions—Le Forte Four, the Doo-Dooettes, AIRWAY, Human Hands, Bpeople, Dinosaurs With Horns, and Solid Eye are some of the bands that populate the LAFMS’s alternate-universe Los Angeles, the one that is actually familiar to people who live here—but the society is also a nexus of the whole American underground of a certain period. Over the years the Residents, Captain Beefheart, Half Japanese, Wild Man Fischer, Mayo Thompson, the Meat Puppets, NON, Phranc, Christian Death, and 45 Grave have all contributed in some way to the massive LAFMS oeuvre. And Smegma originated as part of the LAFMS. And Michael Gira was the original singer of the band that became Bpeople. And founding member Dennis Duck is also the drummer in the Dream Syndicate. And artists Mike Kelley (to whose memory LAFMS BOX BOX is dedicated) and Jim Shaw of Destroy All Monsters have played in LAFMS bands and appear on this very set. You get the idea.

The thirteen LPs break down like this. Sides A and B: Opening Reception Improvisation (Dennis Duck, John Duncan, Ace Farren Ford, Joseph Hammer, Mike Kelley, Fredrik Nilsen, Joe Potts, Rick Potts, Tom Recchion, Vetza); Side C: Artificial Art Ensemble; Side D: The Tenses; Side E: Tom Recchion; Side F: The Doo-Dooettes; Side G: Le Forte Four; Side H: Smegma; Side I: AIRWAY; Side J: Ace & Duck / Artificial Art Ensemble; Side K: Dinosaurs With Horns; Side L: Vetza & Joe Potts; Side M: Dolphin Explosion; Side N: F For Ache; Side O: Eddie Ruscha, Jim Shaw, Dani Tull; Side P: Extended Organ; Side Q: Feedback Waveriders; Side R: Artzenkraft; Side S: Small Drone Orchestra; Side T: Albert Ortega; Side U: Points Of Friction; Side V: Rick Potts; Side W: The Jrks; Side X: Joe & Joe; Side Y: Oolies; Side Z: Rahdunes.
 

LAFMS BOX BOX and some of its innards (photo courtesy of The Box LA and Fredrik Nilsen Studio)
 
We at DM are happier than a handkerchief at a snot party to premiere three videos that reveal this new box set in all its variegated and sensuous glory. In the first very special clip, members of the Los Angeles Free Music Society join the Pillsbury Doughboy in marveling at the box’s contents. Next comes a very, very special look at LAFMS BOX BOX with Corazon del Sol, pitched especially to members of the ASMR community—you know, those lucky few whisper fetishists chosen by natural selection for no-mess skin orgasms. And finally, there is a very, very, very special video in which the artist Paul McCarthy, who is a member of the LAFMS group Extended Organ, spends over an hour counting every countable item in the box.

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
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