On the Occult and Gallery Library

“Something that once had importance might be forgotten by most people but because millions of people once knew it, a force is present that can be harnessed. There might be so much significance attached to a song, for example, or a fact, that it can’t die but only lies dormant, like a vampire in his coffin, waiting to be called forth from the grave once again.”

 Anton Szandor LaVey, The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey

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This quote by the author of The Satanic Bible succinctly describes the appeal of the occult. Artifacts of a spiritual nature seem to possess hidden energies—they have the power to conjure up ideas of morality and existence, heavy thoughts that arouse a state of introspection or hostility. The appeal of the occult is the appeal of False Monarchy, but with an edgier twist. The artist Kyle Kogut marries demonic symbols with car-related objects in his artwork and immerses it all in the drone metal sounds of his guitar. The corrosive music, obsolete televisions, black slender candles and other objects of this exhibition speak of the creator’s own interactions with the occult and of the associated cultures.

The gallery as of now can be likened to a room belonging to a teenager in the midst of the ‘Satanic Panic’ of the 1980’s, complete with a tree to leave offerings at. In this curious room are curious books on well-known artists such as William Blake and Francisco Goya, individuals who were enthralled by the darker aspects of religions. There are also books on demons and other ominous beings. There is an alcove where visitors can curl up on a sofa chair and read The Satanic Bible or whatever they wish from the pop-up library. Who knows what esoteric messages might be lurking between the pages, lying dormant and waiting to be rediscovered by a gallery visitor.

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Come experience the False Monarchy exhibition and pop-up library in The Stamp Gallery, happening now through March 17th, 2018. 

Written by Cristy Ho

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