Jan 23rd 2010



1716 S Morgan St, 2F, Chicago, IL 60608

Opening Saturday, January 23rd, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Saturday, February 20th

Oh, Necromancy! Oh, Runic Magic! Oh, blótspánn and hlautlein! Oh, Germanic Paganism! With earthquake and sorrow and windows shuttered, this New Decade looks to be as dark as the last and the last and the last before that, and it is in such times (as in those early times of Odin) that we must turn our eyes skyward and acknowledge our ignorance of the world, acknowledge that whatever cannot be readily understood must be sorcery. We must consult our Lindholm amulet, fit our Greymoor Ring tight ’round our finger, and leaf through Sigrdrífumál until we find these words: “Certain is that which is sought from RUNEs / That the gods so great have made / And the Master-Poet painted”

We read further: “if high on a tree / I see a hanged man swing / So do I write and color the RUNEs / That forth he fares / And to me talks.” And at last we understand – ART IS OUR DIVINATION. And so emboldened, we use magical staves to collage paper and ink on our walls (JT Rogstad), we perform lithomancy to aid in the photographic documentation of invisibility (Melanie Schiff) and cleromancy for the video record of flight and phenomena (Deborah Stratman), we use our percussive instruments to chant galdr (Joshua Manchester), and we produce a modern-day Kylver Stone in the form of a sacred animal (Ryan Fenchel).

If the present of now is the future of everything, then the blind seers at BEN RUSSELL have ordained that all shall gather in one glorious sumbel, a celebration for what is and for what is to come. ART is the way forward – the RUNEs within these apartment gallery walls have already prophesized as much.

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