This week on Post Everything, host Phoenix Bain spoke with artist Susan MacWilliam about her new exhibit at Open Space Gallery.

The exhibit, F-L-A-M-M-A-R-I-O-N,  is a video installation of a film she made after a 2008 residency at the University of Manitoba Rare Books and Special Collections. She was working with the Hamilton Family fonds, a family famous for the thousands of photographs that, mostly Thomas Glendenning Hamilton, took during seances held in his home in Winnipeg in the early 1900s. She was most struck by one photograph in particular where a “teleplasm,” which normally shows itself in the form of a limb or a shadow, spelled out the name “Flammarion” in 1931.  Camille Flammarion, 1842–1925, was a French astronomer and psychical researcher. The video, F-L-A-M-M-A-R-I-O-N, features a reconstruction of T. G. Hamilton’s séance cabinet, the Belfast poet Ciaran Carson, Atlanta-based Danish-American poltergeist investigator Dr. William G. Roll and Arla Marshall, Canadian granddaughter of Hamilton’s Scottish sitter Susan Marshall. Recorded in three cities across the globe Carson, Roll and Marshall come together in F-L-A-M-M-A-R-I-O-N and respond to the image of the teleplasm.

Phoenix spoke with Susan at the gallery itself as they walked around the exhibit and discussed MacWilliam’s interest in the paranormal, and her process of taking on the project of F-L-A-M-M-A-R-I-O-N.

The “teleplasm” that appeared in the seance cabinet of Thomas Glendenning Hamilton.

Susan MacWilliam lives and works in Belfast and Dublin, Ireland. She is a Lecturer in Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Working with video, photography and installation MacWilliam’s work explores cases of paranormal and perceptual phenomena. With an interest in that which is on the periphery of the mainstream and which falls beyond conventional fields of science and psychology MacWilliam has developed an extensive body of work exploring a range of phenomena including Dermo Optical Perception, table tilting, psychic abilities and mediumship. For more about Susan MacWilliam, please visit her website, www.susanmacwilliam.com.

More about Thomas Glendenning Hamilton and his photos can be found here: http://umanitoba.ca/libraries/archives/collections/complete_holdings/rad/mss/hamilton_tg.shtml

For more about the exhibit, running until October 15th, or Open Space Gallery, please visit www.openspace.ca

Until next time!


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