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Black Mirror: Magic in Art

An Exhibition curated by Dominic Shepherd
TheGallery, Arts University Bournemouth
23 November 2017 – 1 February 2018


Black Mirror: Magic in Art explores the influences and roles of magic, enchantment and the occult in contemporary art and how they function as aesthetic, conceptual and political forces. Through a multi-disciplined curatorial approach of 2D; 3D; film; video and performance art, Black Mirror will showcase the work of thirteen internationally recognised artists.

Modernism was built in the late nineteenth century, we live within its legacy; the same period created the foundations of modern magic as it is practised and understood today. The magical and occult have been much marginalised within the scholarship of twentieth century art, seen in opposition to enlightenment and progressive values. This exhibition challenges this premise, taking thirteen artists whom draw on the magical to propose that enchantment and occult are intertwined with contemporary issues.

Covering a period over the last thirty years a magical aesthetic is intrinsic to an engagement with environmentalism; feminism; gender; post-digital; neo-liberalism and nationalism. Black Mirror is an exhibition where the magical, occult and enchanted are activated as progressive forces that question and direct the flux in this uncertain age.

There will be a panel discussion on November 23rd, between 5-6.15pm. Participants include Jesse Bransford (NYU), Judith Noble (Plymouth College of Art), Willem de Bruijn (AUB) and Robert Ansell (Fulgur). The discussion will be chaired by the curator Dominic Shepherd, and aims to explore some of the exhibition themes.