Strange Sermons: That Which We Should Not See

Doors 7.30pm Tickets £5

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A night of lectures and discussion, hosted by Strange Sermons' Thomas James & Clare Acheson


Gavin Baddeley - Media Occult Correspondent, Writer & Journalist

John Frum Press - Esoteric Publishing House

Dr David Bramwell - Founder of The Catalyst Club & Writer

Tom Trevatt - Editor of Ingognitum Hactenus, Journal of Horror, Art & Philosophy

Transgressive subject matter has persistently penetrated the human creative process. From Sadist literature to cinematic ultra-violence, the artistic fixation with Christ’s crucifiction to idolised occult celebrity figures, humans have endeavoured to explore and express notions of the unthinkable and their perceived socio-cultural limitations throughout history. Exposing subjects that lie outside of contemporary social mores, many controversial concepts have served to highlight the prohibitive nature of our existence, acting as both a means of charting acceptability and exploring the very nature of transgression. Within a contemporary context, the limitless ability to disseminate ideas, the spectacularisation of the image, and the excesses of digital consumption are continually culminating in a rapid expansion of a collective consciousness. Within such an over proliferated image based culture, the sanctionedconcepts of ‘the norm’ are forever in flux, explored through numerous pervasive but perplexing mediums. Fictionalised terrors for entertainment’s sake increasingly pervade our vision while the horrors of modern warfare become masked. Notions of death, spirituality and the supernatural are abandoned for fear of offence, while their symbols become fashionable patterns and abstracted graphic marks. Sex, sexuality and the human form are promoted within a strict framework outside of which new perspectives are often viewed as perverse. Fanatical obsession continues to be viewed as an affliction unless the subject of infatuation holds weight within commodification or status models. Thus the question is posed; Will some topics forever be forbidden from entering the public sphere of discussion? Aiming to define the boundaries, dominant principles and opposing ideas that outline this unspoken coda, Strange Sermons calls for a reflection upon current society’s assessments of acceptability and normality with regards to visual culture. That Which We Should Not See addresses precisely this; the paradigms that shift when the unthinkable becomes confronted, the private becomes public and the hidden becomes exposed. -----

Founded in Spring 2012, Strange Sermons is an alternative space for discussion and critique outside of formal institutions and academic programs that concentrates on visual culture and criticism. Working as a non-profit initiative, Strange Sermons reinvests into research projects that explore visual culture in the form of funding for texts and other research media.