The Metamorphosis

Author: Bruce MacNab
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780864926777
Size: 44.46 MB
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Tale of Harry Houdini's early years as magician in the theatre circuit in Eastern Canada.

The Bowery

Author: Stephen Paul DeVillo
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 151072687X
Size: 20.36 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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From peglegged Peter Stuyvesant to CBGB’s, the story of the Bowery reflects the history of the city that grew up around it. It was the street your mother warned you about—even if you lived in San Francisco. Long associated with skid row, saloons, freak shows, violence, and vice, the Bowery often showed the worst New York City had to offer. Yet there were times when it showed its best as well. The Bowery is New York’s oldest street and Manhattan’s broadest boulevard. Like the city itself, it has continually reinvented itself over the centuries. Named for the Dutch farms, or bouweries, of the area, the path’s lurid character was established early when it became the site of New Amsterdam’s first murder. A natural spring near the Five Points neighborhood led to breweries and taverns that became home to the gangs of New York—the “Bowery B’hoys,” “Plug Uglies,” and “Dead Rabbits.” In the Gaslight Era, teenaged streetwalkers swallowed poison in McGurk’s Suicide Hall. A brighter side to the street was reflected in places of amusement and culture over the years. A young P.T. Barnum got his start there, and Harry Houdini learned showmanship playing the music halls and dime museums. Poets, singers, hobos, gangsters, soldiers, travelers, preachers, storytellers, con-men, and reformers all gathered there. Its colorful cast of characters includes Peter Stuyvesant, Steve Brodie, Carry Nation, Stephen Foster, Stephen Crane, and even Abraham Lincoln. The Bowery: The Strange History of New York’s Oldest Street traces the full story of this once notorious thoroughfare from its pre-colonial origins to the present day.

Trade Of The Tricks

Author: Graham Jones
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520950526
Size: 45.58 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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From risqué cabaret performances to engrossing after-hours shop talk, Trade of the Tricks offers an unprecedented look inside the secretive subculture of modern magicians. Entering the flourishing Paris magic scene as an apprentice, Graham M. Jones gives a firsthand account of how magicians learn to perform their astonishing deceptions. He follows the day-to-day lives of some of France’s most renowned performers, revealing not only how secrets are created and shared, but also how they are stolen and destroyed. In a book brimming with humor and surprise, Jones shows how today’s magicians marshal creativity and passion in striving to elevate their amazing skill into high art. The book’s lively cast of characters includes female and queer performers whose work is changing the face of a historically masculine genre.

The Genesis Of Mass Culture

Author: J. Springhall
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230612121
Size: 72.71 MB
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A thorough survey of the origins and development of the major distinct American commercial entertainments that emerged between over the course of the 19th century and into the 20th, including P.T. Barnum_s American Museum, freak show, and circus, as well as blackface minstrelry, Buffalo Bill_s Wild West Show, and vaudeville.

Houdini And Conan Doyle

Author: Christopher Sandford,
Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co
ISBN: 0715642391
Size: 47.10 MB
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In the early twentieth century, Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini were two of the most fêted and famous men alive. Their relationship was extraordinary: Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the ultra-rational detective Sherlock Holmes, was a believer in Spiritualism. He came to his belief that one could communicate with the dead, after his son and younger brother were killed in the First World War. He became an expert in the Spiritualist field and developed an unshakeable faith that the gap between life and death could be bridged. Harry Houdini, the world's foremost magician, was a friend of Conan Doyle's but was sceptical of his belief in the supernatural. Houdini, showman and master of mystery, took every opportunity to use his knowledge of illusion to expose psychics, and was incensed in particular by what he regarded as their exploitation of the 'nervous derangement' of grief. Drawing on previously unpublished archive material, this sensational history of two popular geniuses conjures up the early Twentieth Century and the fame, personalities and competing beliefs that pulled them apart.

Refiguring The Spiritual

Author: Mark C. Taylor
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231527772
Size: 32.26 MB
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Mark C. Taylor provocatively claims that contemporary art has lost its way. With the art market now mirroring the art of finance, many artists create works solely for the purpose of luring investors and inspiring trade among hedge funds and private equity firms. When art becomes a financial instrument, grounded in nothing but itself, it loses its critical edge. Its commoditization, corporatization, and financialization rob us of necessary perspective. Joseph Beuys, Matthew Barney, James Turrell and Andy Goldsworthy are artists who differ in style, yet they all defy the trends that have diminished art's potential in recent decades. They understand that art is a transformative practice drawing inspiration directly and indirectly from ancient and modern, eastern and western forms of spirituality. For Beuys, anthroposophy, alchemy, and shamanism drive his multimedia presentations; for Barney and Goldsworthy, Celtic mythology informs their art; and for Turrell, Quakerism and Hopi myths and rituals power his vision. Eluding traditional genres and classifications, their work combines spiritually inspired styles and techniques with material reality, creating works that resist merging space into cyberspace in ways that overwhelm local contexts with global landscapes. These artists remind us of life's irreducible materiality and humanity's inescapability of place. For them, art is more than just an object or process. It is a vehicle transforming human awareness through actions echoing religious ritual. By lingering over the extraordinary work of Beuys, Barney, Turrell, and Goldsworthy, Taylor creates a novel and personal encounter with their art and opens a new understanding of overlooked spiritual dimensions in our era.

Fast Forward

Author: Ingvild Goetz
Publisher: Hatje Cantz Pub
ISBN: 9783775718653
Size: 71.41 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Fragmented and morbid, yet full of an inspiring, adolescent sensitivity, Douglas Kolk's drawings and collages feature seductive, abject figures who seem to be at odds with themselves and the world around them. Influenced by Pop art and contemporary media images, Kolk's delicate, confessional works have titles like A Boy Named Deth, A Girl Named Sic, and Hi Sunflower! and deal intensively with popular youth culture. Perhaps the artist's personal history lends some insight: born in Newark, NJ, in 1963, Kolk grew up in a senior citizens' home led by his father, a Baptist preacher. After studying graphic design, he worked as an assistant to Robert Longo, and then as the curator of a corporate art collection. In the mid-90s, increasing artistic success brought enough pressure to cause Kolk to stop working for a while. He recently resumed drawing, and has had solo shows at Team and David Zwirner galleries in New York.