Curator: Aaron Moulton
Opening in the presence of the curator and artists.
on 11 September at 'Night Plovdiv' 2015
AMERICANAESOTERICA is a presentation of artists whose practices employ aspects of ritual, superstition, alchemy and magic. Produced on the occasion of 'Night Plovdiv' 2015, the exhibition takes place both within the white cube of Sariev Contemporary with elements
dispersing throughout the city of Plovdiv.
Video: Aaron Moulton - The Paranoid Prophet
Video: Jason Metcalf - The Witch Doctor
Video: Jennifer West - The Alchemist
During the years in which the United States had NO esoterica to speak of, prophet after prophet spoke at length concerning the kind of esoterica which the new republic was to have. There was a reasonable diversity of expectation among them, but almost all of them agreed that Americana Esoterica, whatever it might be, was bound to be strong in its character.
--Carl van Doren, Americana Esoterica, 1927
And it came to pass, that in a land of occult opulence, an ADD of moral panic was sweeping aimlessly in search of the perfect average. Stemming from a TOXIC CLIMAX of total self-awareness, it was said that the Multiversal indeterminacy of the cultural paradigm, a clear charlatanical structuralism, was creating a corrosive anxiety resulting in acts of anomie amongst citizens of the republic. Exceptionalism gave way to exceptions. ALGORITHMIC ANSWERS and filter bubbles of cultural security eventually eliminated all chances for risk, accident and mutation leading briskly to the doorstep of Nietzsche’s Last Man.
Signs and symbols ⭃ both anticipated and unexplainable in nature, mysticism and culture revealed a Sea change was coming: the decapitation of a Lion King™, THE COMING Tunguska Event in mid-September, the HOMECOMING OF JADE HELM, the Cascadian reboot, the revelation of Roko’s Basilisk, and the discovery of the NWO headquarters on the remote Bouvet Island. Rising like the Phoenixfrom the rubble of spirituality’s last known place of rebirth, a Latter-Day coven of fringe pseudo-SCIentists, known as “contemporary artists”, were authenticating a blend of folk conceptualism and alchemical capitalism -- a compound that forms a new branch of mysticism known as “ESOTERICA”.
Through the generous support of sage aesthetes and cognoscenti, this pentarchy of ARTists embark on a pilgrimage to Plovdiv, deep within the heart of Bulgaria, the black sheep of the Balkans; a land of intrigue, turbo-folk and forgotten sects of a superstitious order. Their mission: to displace a spiritual awakening and offer an act of cultural bridge-building: to introduce AMERICANAESOTERICA in hopes of hexing and warding off the rapidly oncoming leading edge of nuclear mediocrity.
After discovering the formula for what came to be known as “Gravity’s Rainbow”, Sterling Ruby, a shaman of entropy, has labored to define the aesthetics of the Anthropocene. He gives forms to behaviors both lurid and unchecked, often treading to locations that lack CLEAR reference or Source. His film Landscape Annihilates Consciousness channels the acroamatic energies of Murica’s painting guru Bob Ross to form a mantra of spellbinding PROportions that prophetically reveals a next generation of spiritual great awakening.
Enter Mike Bouchet, a mystic merchant who has a long-standing relationship with capitalistic oligarchy furnishing their corporate whimsy with exaltation of the highest glory. Bouchet has courted HIS Royal Eminence, Burger King™, to develop a tinctured essence of deep-fried, char-broiled, Have it Your Way drive-thru instaculture divined according to the SACRED AND TRUE ORDER of proportions and Whopper™-ized golden ratios distending at the rate of the cosmic microwave background. The all-you-can-smell scent reigns in the salt-and-peppery notes like a Cassandra.
Max Hooper Schneider, supposedly at one time a fledgling scientist, was found in a back alley of a TRANSsexual strip club strung out on iridium wafers and UV gel. For years prior and leading up to this point he had painstakingly mulched copies of Descartes in his Cuisinart™ for purposes of understanding its QUANTUM VIBRATIONS. In a choreographed instant HE had been savaged and left for dead. The Kevlar™ kimono had been removed. His collapsed Body signaled toward a nearby wall where traces of indecipherable markings and frenzied pleas hummed with a grime-green glow. This wall now serves as photoluminescent prompt for future cryptographic scrawls -- an architecture of nocturnal emission, we read it as it reads us.
The witch doctor Jason Metcalf harnesses the potentiality of the sympathetic hex in his archive of fixed Tokens and talismans. These sculptural superste-tions physicalize folkloric prescriptions and challenge double negatives with false positives on a whelmingly SUBLIMINAL scale. Each relic is a steganography of Symbols that transposes ciphers both actual and envisioned. His pseudo-ostensive taxonomy forges Deseret shibboleths, lucky charms and reflective evileyes that embrace and consume Outer Darkness. Each Terrestrial brushstroke in his painting “Salamander” is sutratmatically bound to the Astral Plane, holistically forming a Stargate to the Devachanic Oliblish for the initiated.
Alchemist Jen West’s sentient celluloids project her film’s experiences like a scrying device of psychic materiality. Through the spectral lens of cameraless cinema, image registry and chemical distortions SINfully marry to form a hallucinogenic clairvoyance of PURE contagious magic. While her process is melioristic and deliberate, the consequences are decidedly ethereal, shredding the metaphysical pipeline that feeds into an El Niño of raw experience.
The preceding writ was presented by NUMEROUS beings of the Celestial order appointed to the task of providing an epochal spiritual revelation, the ushering in of the Seventh Seal. It autonomously organized over several sessions using a quorum of mediums in contact with SUPREME BEings. The writing COMES TO US NOW out of necessity and interplanetary communion. Inquiries regarding the apparition of AMERICANAESOTERICA in Plovdiv or elsewhere should be directed to Aaron Moulton, cultural agent to the phenomenon.
The exhibition is kindly supported by the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. Additional support was generously provided by Alex Marshall, Mihail Lari and Scott Murray, James Lindon, Peres Projects, Diliana and Spas Roussev, Sam and Diane Stewart, Cynthia Schwartz and Robyn Siegel, Linda and Kriegh Moulton, Mette and Asger Moulton.
The show in the press
Footnotes on art, September 2015
032c Magazine, November 2015
Kultura Newspaper, 13.11.2015
Artnewscafé Bulletin, 5.10.2015
Bulgarian National Radio, 24.09.2015
News TV7, 10.09.2015
Night/Plovdiv Blog, September 2015
39 clues, 2015
ink jet printed vinyl on stretcher
260 x 360 cm
oil on hemp
If you want great wealth to come to your household..., 2015
If you want great wealth to come to your household, fill the hollow of a tree with crushed honeycomb and place three coins in a cross pattern in the middle, 2015
If you want to keep unwanted spirits from coming into your home..., 2015
If you want to keep unwanted spirits from coming into your home, take a fresh garlic clove with six bulbs in it and pierce it with six large needles, intersecting each of the bulbs and make sure that each needle goes all the way through. Then take a strand of hair from a young woman, about twelve inches long, and thread it through one of the needles, and secure it strongly with black rope. Then take a longer piece of black rope and tie as many knots in it as there are letters in the woman’s name, and tie this to the end of the strand of hair, using a square knot. Hang this on the north side of your front door and you will not have any unwanted spirits, 2015
garlic, steel needles, hair, rope
If you want to know which months of the year will be wet months or dry months..., 2015
If you want to know which months of the year will be wet months or dry months, cut six onions in half and scoop out the middle of them and place them in a circle face up and evenly spaced. Then take the yolks from twelve eggs that have been harvested in the last seven days and place the yolks in the middle of the onions. Let the yolks and onions rest for three days. Starting at the onion facing the most northward, going clockwise, observe which yolks have broken and which have not. The first is the current month, and so on. The broken yolks will yield rainy or wet months, and the yolks that have not broken will yield dry months, 2015
onions, egg yolks
In order to make sure that you don’t get the evil eye..., 2015
In order to make sure that you don’t get the evil eye, take a jar of honey that has been harvested within seven miles of your home and place forty white beans in it and seal it. Then tie a steel knife and a steel fork and a steel spoon in a hex pattern to the jar with black and red rope, and hang it from the nearest tree to your front door. Make sure the hex is pointing away from your property. This will keep away the evil eye, 2015
glass jar, honey, white beans, rope, steel utensils
- Max Hooper Schneider Intervention in public space, Plovdiv, 2015 glow cree and luminescent sand
Landscape Annihilates Consciousness, 2002
video, TRT: 11:40
Courtesy the artist
- Mike Bouchet L’eau Grise, 2015 750 ml artist produced perfume, engraved glass bottle, cardboard drawing
- Jason Metcalf Paint something red on your property to keep away evil spirits, 2015 red paint
Popular Authoritative Tendencies, 2015
set of 20 digital prints
approx. 84 x 119 cm
presented as intervention in public space
Max Hooper Schneider
digital collage on vinyl decal
Max Hooper Schneider
digital collage on vinyl decal
- Jason Metcalf Salamander, 2015 oil on linen
Salt Crystals Spiral Jetty Dead Sea Five Year Film..., 2013
Salt Crystals Spiral Jetty Dead Sea Five Year Film (70mm film negative floated in the Dead Sea and given a healing clay bath in extreme heat in 2008 - stuffed in a suitcase, placed in studio buckets, covered in clay and salt for five years - dragged along the salt encrusted rocks of the Spiral Jetty and thrown in the pink waters in 2013 in below 10 degree weather - Dead Sea floating and mud baths by Mark Titchner, Karen Russo and Jwest - Spiral Jetty dragging and rolling by Aaron Moulton, Ignacio Uriarte and Jwest - DIY telecine frame by frame of salt covered film by Chris Hanke), 2013
70mm film negative
- Jason Metcalf Seer stone and magic handkerchief, 2015 (stone of unknown age) seer stone, handkerchief
The American, 2015, Spy for God, 2015
The American, 2015
240 x 340 cm
ink jet printed vinyl on stretcher
Spy for God, 2015
240 x 340
ink jet printed vinyl on stretcher
- Jason Metcalf Tie forty knots in a fishing net and wear it to ward off the evil eye, 2015 fishing net, mannequin (for display)
- Jason Metcalf To bless the guests of your home, fill the crack of the threshold of your door with red pepper, 2015 red pepper
To keep away dark witches..., 2015
To keep away dark witches, acquire an old broom that has been charged with much energy from a special place and tie three brass keys to it with black rope. Tie forty knots in the rope and lace it through each of the holes in the keys. Secure each of the keys to the shaft of the broom six times and form an X over each of them. Place the broom near your front door, 2015
Broom, brass keys, black rope
To ward off a person or animal..., 2015
To ward off a person or animal or being you don’t want on your property, gather some clay from the earth located no more than 144 footsteps away from your place and let it dry in the sun for three days and make a poultice out of it. Then form it into a long roll, and wedge it in a crack in your front doorway. Next place six white beans in the clay, facing outward from your property, saying the name of the thing that you want to ward off while placing each bean, 2015
clay, honey, milk, white beans
- Jennifer West Video installation at Cosmos Cinema, Plovdiv