Magic Show

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Hayward Publishing, 2009 - Art - 115 pages
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Magic Show demonstrates how visual artists adopt the perception-shifting tactics of the theatrical magician to explore questions of creative agency, the power of suggestion, and the fragility of belief. Artists, like magicians, manipulate and mystify not simply for entertainment, but to redress fundamental relationships within the social, political or cultural realm.
This richly illustrated book, with over 100 colour reproductions, contains essays that elaborate on the intersections between art and magic by Jonathan Allen and Sally O'Reilly, as well as texts on each of the 24 featured artists. It also contains new writing on arcane images and esoteric ideas from the cultural history of magic by Simon During, Brigitte Felderer, Peter Lamont, Pierre Taillefer, Helen Varola and Marina Warner; a fold-out collation of texts and images exploring the dynamics of magic, art and power; and an illustrated selection of curious props and off-beat ephemera from the world of theatrical magic.

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About the author (2009)

Jonathan Allen is Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT.

Sally O'Reilly contributes regularly to art magazines, including Art Monthly, Frieze, Art Review, and Time Out, and has written numerous catalogue essays for museums and galleries.

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