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Image courtesy Dohm Shop

Image courtesy Dohm Shop

Events - Talks

The Study Sessions: A Darkened Room

This House is Full of Unruly Ghosts

29 May 2018

The Study Sessions are a series of informal reading and discussion groups. The sessions within A Darkened Room will touch upon Linder’s wide constellation of artistic influences and further explores the subjects presented in the exhibition. More>>
 
*Please note this session is now fully booked, if you would like to be added to the waiting list please email Mercè at merce@nottinghamcontemporary.org
 
 
This House is Full of Unruly Ghosts: Spiritualism and Domestic Enchantment by Elsa Richardson 
 
Victorian spiritualism was a domestic pursuit. Forming ‘home circles’ in parlours around the country, believers uncovered talented mediums in their own families, messages from the other side were rapped out on polished dining room tables, ghostly faces appeared in the patterns of soft furnishings, pianos played unattended and teacups levitated. The spiritualist movement called on the elevated morality of the middle-class home to legitimise their unorthodox religious practice, but the experience of the séance refused as well as colluded in this valorisation. For though spiritualist practice allowed for an understanding of home as a sequestered space, removed from the amorality and bustle of the public world, the affective links established by the spirit circle also produced the domestic as a radically unbound site, open to otherworldly intervention and transformation.
 
The affinities drawn with ghostly visitors authorised lines of connection that stretched far beyond the spatial and temporal confines of the traditional family home, and this Study Session will explore the everyday enchantments of spiritualism in nineteenth-century Britain. Particular attention will be paid to the role of women as conduits for otherworldly communication and their muddling of mundane domestic activities --cooking, drinking, sewing, reading— with occult activities. 
 
 
6.30-8.30pm
Free. Booking Required
The Studio
 
 
Elsa Richardson lectures in the history of medicine and psychology at the University of Strathclyde and has published on the interaction between medicine and the imagination, science and the supernatural, emotions and the occult. Her first monograph examined the place of extraordinary visionary experience in the Victorian scientific and popular imaginary, and she remains committed to understanding the relation of heterodox practices, beliefs and movements to mainstream society and culture. In addition to teaching and research, Elsa also curates events for public institutions like the Wellcome Collection and collaborates with artists, filmmakers and performers. 
 

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