NY Times: "Better Living Through Music, Art and Polyamory"
That's the attention-getting headline the Times uses for an art review it posted this morning. The article's beginning and ending:
By Martha Schwendener
Starting with its mouthful of a title, “Cosmic Communities: Coming Out Into Outer Space — Homofuturism, Applied Psychedelia & Magic Connectivity” at Galerie Buchholz is baldly ambitious. Organized at this Upper East Side space by the German critic Diedrich Diederichsen and Buchholz’s Christopher Müller, the exhibition offers a crash course in over a century of utopian communities that used art, sex and music as models for better living.
Isaac Abrams painted the swirling motifs of “Après Hello Dalí” (1965), featured at Galerie Buchholz. The artist operated Coda, a 1960s gallery in Manhattan devoted to psychedelic art. (Galerie Buchholz)
Their two historical touchstones are the Symbolist poet Stefan George (1868-1933) and Ugrino, a community based on free love, founded in northern Germany in 1920 by the organ builder and writer Hans Henny Jahnn (1894-1959).
George was an early German nationalist at the center of the George Circle, a group of artists, writers and thinkers who modeled themselves after Greek organizations in which younger men were intellectually and sexually initiated into the group by older members. Ugrino, centered around Jahnn and the musician Gustav Harms, was a polyamorous commune in which its members reportedly all had sex with one another. ...
...The curators attempt to draw links among all these artists, from those who broke with what the curators call the “bourgeois sexual order” to those who later produced (sometimes drug induced) psychedelia. But the questions the exhibition leaves in its wake are significant. What of Stefan George’s conservative ideas about “purifying” German language and culture, which later found full bloom in National Socialism? Are some of the ideas here actually conflicting, rather than living under the same cosmic umbrella? How do sonic frequencies, like psychedelic visual patterns, affect our psyches and serve as road maps for better living beyond the micro-communities of artists? “Cosmic Communities” rests upon a valuable trove of ideas and includes many interesting artifacts, but it feels like a sketch for an exhibition more than a fully realized one.
Read the whole article (December 28, 2017).
Funny, by these standards I guess I'm a total hippie, despite outward appearances. Psychedelics, peace and polyamory fit together for me about as naturally as protons, neutrons and electrons when it comes to grasping the cosmos — or rather the cosmos as I hope it might be on some super-deep level, in my dippier moments. I still struggle with this, with no conclusion that I can honestly consider to be likely true. Guess I'm also the total scientist (as some accuse me of being; looking at you, New Culture Summer Camp).