New York

“Strange Powers”

Creative Time

In spite of its current predisposition to secularism, art has always been something of a faith-based enterprise. Its cultural and commercial value relies on the willingness of viewers to believe in things that can’t always be immediately perceived or fully understood—to allow for the possibility that the objects and images they encounter in the gallery might have access to meaning and even power. This outlook—as embodied in a variety of artistic practices, especially ones whose content itself involves the uncanny or the supernatural—formed the basis of Creative Time’s memorable summer group show, “Strange Powers,” a survey of adjacencies between the operations of art and the activities of the occult.

Cocurated by Laura Hoptman and Peter Eleey and installed in a decrepit East Village tenement, “Strange Powers” enjoyed a nicely unheimlich bit of site-specific serendipity in its efforts to

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