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Date(s) - 27/06/2018 - 28/07/2018
12:00 am

Arcade Fine Arts


Ahead of the Bauhaus centenary in 2019, Empty your Lungs as Much as Possible and Repeat the Exercise draws overlapping connections between Modernism, esoteric traditions and body postures and questions the impact of Modernism in relation to contemporary forms of mysticism, through a selection of works by John Finneran, Shana Moulton, Ruth Proctor, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Marijke De Roover and Ian Whittlesea.

If the advent of Modernism marked a renewed commitment to simple geometries, as well as a denial of the potential for corporeal transcendence, it also generated contradictions, through the use of common features borrowed from mystical thought. Simple forms such as squares, triangles and circles are known to carry a rich history of symbolic meaning and the white interior touted by Le Corbusier is often described as the emblematic puri cation to initiate the modern age. Furthermore, examples such as Johannes Itten’s devotion for Mazdaznan or Wassily Kandinsky’s spiritual approach to art, denote Modernism’s complex relationship to cabalistic traditions.

Mixing references to new age philosophy, yoga, Bauhaus, folklore and fortune telling, the show aims to present a mishmash of associations; or, as William Harmless puts it, “a catch-all for religious weirdness”, mirroring the magical eclecticism that today’s mysticism brings with itself. Syncretism is thus approached as being representative of the kaleidoscopic strangeness and fuidity that characterises modern life.