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News from International Headquarters


April 4, 2008 e.v.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Ordo Templi Orientis has been working with the Centre Pompidou, the Warburg and the Palais du Tokyo to assist, in a minor way, with two truly important art shows, both featuring works by Aleister Crowley. We have not yet seen any publicity given to these shows in English, and wanted to give the Crowleyan-interest community as much advance notice of these shows as possible -- especially so as to allow those planning to travel from abroad to Europe for summer holidays the opportunity to route their trips through Paris at the right time to see both shows. It is possible to do this if one visits Paris between June 5 and July 4 (approximately -- the exact closing date of the Palais du Tokyo show is not known at this writing -- we only know that it runs for a month from June 5).

The two shows, in the order in which they open:

May 8 - August 11

The Centre Pompidou in Paris is mounting a show commemorating the anniversary of its founding as the most prominent state-owned museum of modern art in France, titled "Traces du Sacré." The show opens to the public on May 7 in Gallery 1, and runs until August 11. The curators have assembled a wide-ranging exploration of spirituality and esotericism in Europe and America in last century, drawing on their own holdings as well as those of other institutions and collectors around the world. The Warburg Institute has kindly loaned four newly-restored Thoth Tarot paintings by Aleister Crowley and Frieda, Lady Harris: The High Priestess, The Hermit, The Moon and The Aeon. One important, previously unknown Aleister Crowley oil painting will be included in the "Great Initiates" section of the show, kindly loaned by the owner of the group of paintings that form the second Palais du Tokyo show (discussed in detail below, this show runs concurrently with the Centre Pompidou show for a month from June 5). Also on view will be Cameron's remarkable large-scale portait of Jack Parsons, "Dark Angel" -- all part of the curatorial take on the "Lucifer Rising" mythos of Kenneth Anger. Also featured are works by Harry Smith, Jordan Belson and many others influenced directly or indirectly by Crowley and his students. Of course the overall context of the show, including Arp, Brancusi, Chagall, De Chirico, Dali, Dix, DuChamp, Giocometti, Goya, Kandinsky, Klee, Kupka, Miro, Mondrian, Munch, Picasso, Warhol etc. etc., is breathtaking. That Crowley should be included with these artists in a retrospective -- one that takes into account the incredibly influential spiritual and artistic undergrounds -- is groundbreaking. A comprehensive catalog will be available for purchase. After Paris, a smaller group of works (that will not include the Crowley-Harris Thoth paintings) travels to Munich.

The Centre Pompidou's show synopsis can be found here (English).

June 5 - July 4 or 5 (check for closing day with the museum -- our information is that it runs for "one month")

This show at the Palais du Tokyo opens June 5 and runs for one month. Kenneth Anger will be on hand at the opening and events are expected to be scheduled. This important show features a newly discovered trove of important oil paintings by Aleister Crowley. This amazing collection, owned by descendants of an artist-acquaintance of Crowley's in Sicily, was only recently brought to light by Dr. Marco Pasi, the well-known Crowley scholar on the faculty of the University of Amsterdam's graduate school in Hermeticism and Related Currents. Fifteen paintings of the sixteen in the collection will be exhibited -- one, as noted above, is included in the Centre Pompidou show. A color catalog is being produced that will include articles by Dr. Pasi and others. This show is a rare chance to see a unified collection of oils that are of such quality that they may well provide the basis for the serious attention of art scholars and critics that Crowley's painting deserves. Dating from his Cefalu painting, they comprise an amazing collection of works produced when Crowley was at the height of his artistic powers. We will try to make details of events held in connection with the exhibition available as we learn of them.

Love is the law, love under will.

Hymenaeus Beta
Frater Superior OTO

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