The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick In the rotating exhibit space.
May 26 – July 31, 2021
Collecting an array of small works in various media spanning over twenty years, Time Machines presents artist Jesse Bransford’s long and intimate workings with ideas of magic and the occult. From the fantasy and speculative fiction genres that have long used tropes pulled from the magical traditions, on into the reality of psychedelic and spiritual questioning and manifestation, the work can be seen as an extended initiation process, one that Bransford explicitly embraced over the course of several years, beginning in earnest in 2003.
Known primarily for large scale works on paper and mural works, this exhibition presents an array of Bransford’s more intimate works, drafts, and experimental gestures that stand on their own while fleshing out Bransford’s oeuvre as a whole. Beginning with the Gestalt drawings of the late 90s, the work’s nascent interest in the occult, fostered by the then-new proliferation of the internet, quickly expands and deepens. Alchemy, psychedelic experience, horror literature, and the role playing game Dungeons & Dragons led to long-term studies of Renaissance ritual magic, folk magic, and plant medicine. In this research a process of self-discovery has ensued and the lines between Art and Magic have blurred.
Along this journey Bransford has found kinship in the experimental attitudes of the Surrealists and discovered early modernism’s deep and abiding interest in the occult, especially for its interest in representing the non-visual. Kurt Seligmann and Leonora Carrington, among many others, have been hugely influential on Bransford’s thinking.
Though primarily work on paper, many media and techniques are on display, including computer printouts, watercolors, paintings, and pencil drawings. Tension between flatness and the pictorial lend themselves to ideas of sacred geometry, mark making, and visionary space. Quotations from across the many magical traditions create a syncretic blend of magical practices that look for connections across time and culture to give depth and dimension to ideas of the human experience.
The most recent works grow from an exploration of the Norse magical traditions, especially the works originating from Iceland, where Bransford has visited on several occasions. The effect of the elemental landscape on both the magical traditions and the art Bransford has channeled through his research and experience underlines the artist’s deep and growing conviction that there is no Art without Magic.
Jesse Bransford is a New York-based artist whose work is exhibited internationally at venues including The Carnegie Museum of Art, the UCLA Hammer Museum, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center and the CCA Wattis Museum among others. He holds degrees from the New School for Social Research (BA), Parsons School of Design (BFA) and Columbia University (MFA). An associate professor of art at New York University, Bransford’s work has been involved with belief and the visual systems it creates since the 1990s. Recent work has focused on the folk magic of the Norse traditions, specifically the talismanic stave spells and the seiðr traditions. Parts of this work are collected in the recently published book from Fulgur Press, “A Book of Staves (Galdrastafabók).” He lectures widely on his work and the topics surrounding his work. He is the co-organizer of the biennial Occult Humanities Conference and an editorial member of the Black Mirror Network.
The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick was founded in 1966 by author and occult researcher Raymond Buckland. Established in Cleveland in 2017, we are now open 7 days a week with daily scheduled tours. Tickets and information can be found at www.BucklandMuseum.org, and it is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance. Masks are currently required.
For information in regards to the Buckland Museum please contact Steven Intermill at (718) 709-6643 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Jesse Bransford please visit http://www.jessebransford.com.