Magic Ancient and Modern: Materials and Imagination - until April 21

An exhibit by Frank Klaassen and David Porreca. Throughout the ages, both magic and divination have attracted attention because they offer various ways to predict or control the future as well as ways to fantasize about it (as evident in the popularity of the Harry Potter series). The boundlessly fertile nature of human imagination keeps the belief in magic alive, and magic is often simply a technique for unleashing our natural imaginative inclinations. Many of the techniques in this exhibit seek to provoke the imagination through texts, nebulous shapes, or magical tools and these can often render convincing, startling and evocative results. We also use our imagination to create or imagine what magic should look like. What appears magical to us might not do so in another part of the world or another period. Thus, new forms of magic are constantly being created, and all of us participate in evaluating them. In this exhibit, you will see how magic persists in the modern world in forms very much like those practiced in the premodern world.

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