Talk by Lars Bang Larsen

Dec 14, 2013



Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front


7:00 p.m.


Art historian Lars Bang Larsen presented his lecture Reflections from Damaged Life: a talk on art and psychedelia in the Grand Luxe Hall as part of New Forms Festival. The talk offered a critical reading of the connection between art and psychedelic imagery, concepts, and practices to posit that this relationship harbours an unexplored aesthetic potential that art history has failed to address. Rather than focusing on the visual culture of the youth revolt of the late 1960’s, the hippies’ metaphysics of love and innocence, or the retrieval of a lost “ism,” Larsen considered how psychedelia has travelled outside of familiar forms and orbits, and has re-appeared in visual art. His inquiry followed a non-linear and non-canonical path through singular artistic interpretations of how psychedelic notions of transformation can lead to new possibilities for experience. Examples of this included Latin America’s first psychedelic zine, Marta Minujín’s Lo Inadvertido; the queer acid drag of The Cockettes in San Francisco; and the Perestroika-era, folk psychedelia of the Moscow group Inspection Medical Hermeneutics. Over a marathon format of three hours, the talk itself sought to present a challenge to the brain and nervous system while dramatizing psychedelia’s rich web of associations.

Presented in partnership with New Forms Festival.

Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.