THE HORROR SHOW EXHIBIT AND EXPERIENCE!
A PRELUDE TO HALLOWEEN
Exhibition October 8 – October 23, 2016
INTERACTIVE FORTUNE TELLERS, LIFE-SIZE ANIMATED WITCHES AND MONSTERS, TAXIDERMY AND RIPPING ART!
Opening PARTY Saturday, October 8, 4–6 pm
Admission $5; Costumes encouraged
Dinner with the Devil 7–10 pm
Volunteers wanted for floor monitors, guides, etc. [email protected]
The Horror Web-site: http://tlindall.wixsite.com/the-satanic-verses — the press release, links to videos and on-line catalog.
ORDER THE FULL COLOR CATALOG $30
It is a fate that sweeps like a storm in the night. It is the Jungian collective unconscious of our species that has simmered as a dormant volcano of the multitudes and explodes periodically with a force that can astound and shake humanity. We awaken from our humdrum every day existence to a world of horror and find another more intense reality behind the superficial mask of everyday life…in our nightmares or captured by our artists for the public to share! Halloween is perhaps one of the oldest holidays on record, dating back more than 2,000 years to the days of the Celts and their high priests, the Druids. While associated with Ireland, the Celtic people lived across a wide region that included Great Britain and northern France, and marked their new year on November 1st. This was the end of summer and a time of harvest, as the Celts began to prepare for the cold, dark winter. For many, this time of year was marked by a period of death. For a moment in October at the WAH Center we can all escape from the accepted ways of behaving – toppling our obedience to the commonplace, our slavery to doing meekly what does not offend others, the “go along, get along” mentality.
1) Stephen Auslender
2) Bienvenido Bones Banez
3) Carson Barnes
4) Robert S. Beal
5) Alan F. Beck
6) Benjamin Bohnsack
7) Linda Butti
8) John Catania
9) Yong Chen
10) Edward Coppola
11) Val Dyshlov
12) Duncan Ford
13) Debra Friedkin
14) Eleanor Goldstein
15) Roxanne Jackson
16) Cornelia Jensen
17) Dinh Gia Le
18) Martin Leff
19) Estelle Levy
20) Terrance Lindall
21) Drew Maillard
22) Marie Roberts
23) James Saunders
24) Hannah Schilsky
25) Sachiko Sube
26) Patrick Taylor
27) Matthew Turov
28) Sergei Usatov
29) John Neal Wallace
30) Bryan Kent Ward
31) Jeff Williams
THE HORROR AMIDST THE LIGHT OF OUR WORLD
By Terrance Lindall, Curator
“The imagination is not a State: it is the Human existence itself.” — William Blake
It is a fate that sweeps like a storm in the night. It is the Jungian collective unconscious of our species that has simmered as a dormant volcano of the multitudes and explodes periodically with a force that can astound and shake humanity. We awaken from our humdrum every day existence to a world of horror and find another more intense reality behind the superficial mask of everyday life…in our nightmares or captured by our artists for the public to share!
Halloween is perhaps one of the oldest holidays on record, dating back more than 2,000 years to the days of the Celts and their high priests, the Druids. While associated with Ireland, the Celtic people lived across a wide region that included Great Britain and northern France, and marked their new year on November 1st. This was the end of summer and a time of harvest, as the Celts began to prepare for the cold, dark winter. For many, this time of year was marked by a period of death.
For a moment in October at the WAH Center we can all escape from the accepted ways of behaving – toppling our obedience to the commonplace, our slavery to doing meekly what does not offend others, the “go along, get along” mentality.
In the past many artists and writers have turned inward, such as William Blake or Felicien Rops and today even our own Bienvenido Bones Banez, to decadence and the darker side. Such are the two sides of the human spirit struggling within the subconscious wherein lies the “creature” Freud envisioned as the “ID,” and from which ejaculates our secret desires as well as our greatest fears, the fountain of horror in the arts.
Gothic horror drew on these sources with the seminal The Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole. Many found it in poor taste — but it proved to be immediately popular. A significant amount of horror fiction of this era was written by women and marketed at a female audience, a typical scenario being a resourceful female protagonist menaced in a gloomy castle.
Influential works and characters that continue resonating with film and cinema today saw their genesis in such works as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), the works of Edgar Allan Poe, the works of Sheridan Le Fanu, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897).
The proliferation of cheap periodicals, as early as the turn of the 20th century, led to a boom in horror writing. Later, specialist publications emerged to give horror writers an outlet, including Weird Tales and Unknown Worlds. Some of these comics can be seen in this exhibition. Books such as those published by EC Comics (famous for series such as Tales From The Crypt) in the 1950s satisfied readers’ quests for horror imagery that the silver screen could not provide. They were frequently censored. The greatest producer of horror periodicals was James Warren who produced CREEPY, EERIE & VAMPIRELLA.
Many modern novels claim an early description of the living dead in a precursor to the modern zombie tale, including Dennis Wheatley’s “Strange Conflict” (1941), H.P. Lovecraft stories such as “Cool Air,” (1925) “In The Vault,” (1926) and “The Outsider,” (1926).
William Blake said “The imagination is not a State: it is the Human existence itself.” Imagination is what is required to make a revolution to change the present mundane into something else. In essence he understood the nature of the human being is to evolve, change, grow…revolt. He began working with radical publisher Joseph Johnson, whose house was a meeting place for some of the leading intellectual dissidents, such as John Henry Fuseli and Mary Wollstonecraft, creator of Frankenstein’s monster, a nightmare surrealist creature of uninhibited rage and desire. Unlike that of Milton or Dante, Blake’s conception of Hell is s a source of unrepressed, Dionysian energy.
Another of Blake’s proverbs states:
“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom;
The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction;
One law for the lion and ox is oppression”
“Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion,
Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.
From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil.
Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing
This of course, leads us directly into the dark forms of art and literature of the 19th century…the Decadents! Artists and writers of the Decadent movement include many well known names such as Jules Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly, Charles Pierre Baudelaire, Aubrey Beardsley, J. K. Huysmans, Guy de Maupassant, Gustave Moreau, Edvard Munch, Odilon Redon, Arthur Rimbaud, Félicien Rops and Oscar Wilde. One of the most influential writers was Joris-Karl Huysmans (February 5, 1848 – May 12, 1907).
One such Decadent school graphic artist was Felicien Rops (1833–98), a Belgian printmaker who specialized in etching and aquatint. He lauded rebellion, madness and the marvelous saying in a letter “… I do not have enough respect for the law, that I do not contribute to the good of the State …I am happy and almost proud of being like this and not otherwise…. I hope that this surpasses the boundaries of decent insanity…” Does this not sound just like Salvador Dali who said, “The only difference between myself and a madman is that I am not mad.” The art of Rops with exaggerated sexual content offended the public and even today his works find difficult acceptance by collectors.
Rops met the poet Charles Baudelaire in 1864, and Baudelaire left an impression upon him as well as many other Decadent Surrealists in France, because they shared a common philosophy in exploiting the themes of sex and death that were considered scandalous. Baudelaire and Rops taunted the hypocrisy of the bourgeois society who behind the façade of a virtuous life were as guilty of sins and lies, at least in their imaginings as the poet and the artists:
Baudelaire says “… If rape or arson, poison, or the knife
Has wove no pleasing patterns in the stuff
Of this drab canvas we accept as life—
It is because we are not bold enough!”
Shocking indeed then and shocking today still! Rops’ art and association with Baudelaire won him the admiration of his fellow symbolists decadents. Like the works of the authors whose poetry he illustrated, his work mingle sex, death and satanic imagery, as in perhaps his best known work, “The Incantation”:
In his preface to the 1903 reissue of A rebours: Huysman’s explains how he himself “destroyed the logic” of naturalism in which he was ensnared:
“… Naturalism, which should have rendered the inestimable service of giving us real characters in precisely described settings…ended up harping on the same old themes and was treading water.”
Huysmans kept minutely documented realistic detail of his early naturalism, but applied them instead to a portrait of an exceptional individual in A rebours, that “wild and gloomy fantasy.” A rebours is said to be “the book that Dorian Gray loved and that inspired Oscar Wilde.” The book’s plot is said to have dominated the action of Dorian, causing him to live an amoral life of sin and hedonism. The public was scandalized, but it appealed to a young generation of writers and artists.
Bresdin is a 19th century artist in a Romantic age of transformations. And although his technique resembles that of the old masters, his art in and of itself, reflects the motifs of artists and writers of his time. As Huysmans filled his novels with minutely detailed evocations of Paris, so Bresdin filled his landscapes with minutely detailed eccentric and visionary elements of the fantastic, the exotic, or the macabre, as in his “Comedy of Death”
Schopenhauer’s aesthetics also shared concerns with Symbolist writers such as Huysman, who regarded art as a refuge from a malign world. Through mysticism and a sense of the evil power of sexuality, both Bresdin and Redon express primordial archetypes that are found in dream and the unconscious.
Terrance Lindall, the director of the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, organized the 2003 “Brave Destiny” exhibition of contemporary Surrealists.