Spirits are let loose at the CCCB

The sculpture

The sculpture “Madame Blavatsky” by Goshka Macuga in the exhibition “La llum negra” at the CCCB. Juana Sanchez

A woman puts her boot on the seat of one harness and her feet on another. How to float in the wind. The light in the room is dim, casting a direct beam on the face, which looks like marble. It’s impressive from afar. The figure is made of carved wood, cloth, human hair -really- and shoes. But all of this can only be appreciated when you get very close to Madame Blavatsky, the title of the sculpture by Polish actor Goshka Macuga. Helena Blavatsky was a Russian occultist, author of The Secret Doctrine and student of paranormal phenomena. A subject of particular interest to Macuga and which fits perfectly into the CCCB’s La llum negra exhibition on the secret traditions of art since the 1950s.

The walk through the rooms is an initiation to the influence of esoteric currents, Eastern philosophies, illusionism, psychedelia or the hallucinogenic genre of drugs seen by artists as disparate as Antoni Tàpies, Jordan Belson, Rudolf Steiner , Henri Michaux, Joan Ponç, Agnes Martin or Macuga, among others. The exhibition consists of nearly 350 works, arranged more or less chronologically, ranging from paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, drawings, music and audiovisual media to the currents that were so fashionable in the counterculture of the 1960s and 70 that they return today, to grouping the interests of artists but also of society.

The audiovisuals -in different formats and all conveniently disturbing- are works of real cinema around the phenomena to which the CCCB also dedicates this year’s series of films, the fresco that transforms the courtyard of the center into a large cinema hall with chairs long comfortable ones. “Sometimes the theme of the film series was merged with an exposition. This year we have organized this election because the subject of enigma and secret traditions has been widely debated both by artists and filmmakers,” explains Ángela Martínez, Audiovisual Director at CCCB.

Paintings, sculptures and audiovisual supports in the exhibition “La allum negra”

The cultural center was one of the first to program cinema at the independent gala in Barcelona during the months of August at the end of the 90s, although with another name: Nits d’Agost, which programmed concert. This brand new plan has metamorphosed and has been the fire of the Gandules since 2003. The CCCB always chooses the theme and explores a double to remedy it. This year, the Il luminat Cinema cycle. Màgia, lisèrgia i ocultisme was programmed by art critic Mery Cuesta. “She is an expert and investigator of occultism and esotericism and she is the one who selected the nine films programmed”, adds Cuesta. Fresh cinema is in a way the reflection of other activities carried out by the CCCB in more reflective formats such as conferences or debates. “A cinema extended to the known must be more comprehensible than the audiovisual films which are shown in the sample”, he adds. To give an example, the audiovisual Invocation of my demon brother, a 1969 short film by Kenneth Anger -with music by Mick Jagger-, the sample would be difficult to digest for a wide acquaintance.

Open-air cinema in the inner courtyard of the cultural centerIndependent cinema gale in the inner courtyard of the cultural centerJ. SANCHEZ

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The tapes shown are copies of 35 millimeter films and it is common for some to be loaned by film libraries which have restored them. Like the disturbing – and sometimes very uncomfortable – Mondo Cane, projected in the background of the Milan cinematheque last Tuesday. The mixture of barbarism, human anomalies and hallucinations of Gualterio Jacopetti, Paolo Cavara and Franco Prosperi – all sprinkled with a dose of macabre humor – in a 1962 film which caused a sensation at the time, attracted a well-known cinephile, very diverse and convenient. did is generally predominantly indigenous.

Films about strange phenomena, fantasies and horror.

The cycle, free for spectators and which ends next Thursday, cost 30,000 euros, funded equally by the CCCB and Gas Natural, which is a regular sponsor and announced the grant set for next year.

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