Offering a mouthful of the title and 8 page press release the exhibition”Cosmic Communities: Coming Out Into Outer Space–Homofuturism, Applied Psychedelia &Magic Connectivity”’ at Galerie Buchholz is not as far-fetched as one might be tempted to assume. Sure, it does delv in a slightly more alternative realm particularly when considering gallery’s location in Uptown Manhattan; yet the exhibition – dedicated every bit to the topics suggested in its title – brushes upon issues that are equally heated subjects today as when most of the artworks on view were created. Diedrich Diederichsen and Christopher Müller, the duo behind the exhibition aspired to shed some light on the leitmotif behind utopian cultivism that arose in early 20th century and lasted well through the 70’s.
“…the exhibition isn’t a celebration of silly bohemianism or flights of fancy induced by over-consumption of psychedelia…”
The question is how do you make sense out of all the threads proposed in a physically dense exhibition which orbits around myriad of subjects where every one of them is worth a tome itself. According to yours truly- you turn to modern ages and millenials.
Mind drifts towards the frequency with which words like saging, energy, chakra and spirituality pop-up during daily conversations. One doesn’t need to go further than Instagram and #energy has over 14 million tags, making in natural to assume the hashtags follow some kind of physical and/or mental practice, or is anchored in a belief system that disrupts with the normative of cultural behavior that has outlined early 21st century (this ‘disruption’ is more evident the further one moves away from centralized cultural zones as capitals for example. On the contrary nothing in London is considered as “disruptive” in year 2017). Thus the cultivist ideas that exhibition brushes upon ranging from mathematical harmonies to liberating narrative don’t seem as far–fetched as one might have the preliminary impression of – they can perhaps be considered pre-cursors of a society du-jour.
And if you are still polemic about the concept, there are still plenty of great works to be seen even without the context they are in.
Cosmic Communities: Coming Out Into Outer Space– Homofuturism, Applied Psychedelia & Magic Connectivity runs until 13th January at Galerie Buchholz
Predominantly male and well-schooled, these cults (Note: Ugrino and George Circle aprox. 1920’s) sparked out of shared convictions in alternative lifestyle than the heteronormative society offered at the time. Anchored in intellectual and ideological aspirations towards building a better life-order themes such as obscurity, mysticism and belief in the cosmic laws, seasoned with salacious behaviour, stood central amongst the followers.
Now, that being said – the exhibition isn’t a celebration of silly bohemianism or flights of fancy induced by over-consumption of psychedelia– it is rather a comment on common beliefs these groups shared about cosmic laws, mathematical orders and numerical ratios (think Fibonacci) as well as music. The above-mentioned drift into mysticism was ment to serve as means of alignment with the divine or achievement of “cosmic harmonies” that would culminate in spiritual progress.
The same leitmotif reoccurs in America during 70’s, where the jazz musician Sun Ra and composer Karlheinz Stockhausen were the most prominent voices who heralded for the close relationship between aesthetic, social and spiritual progress.