» Image versus Esotericism

The social acceleration of the 20th century, which gave rise to the modern technological society through the processes of industrialization, globalization and urbanization, has according to many caused the definitive rupture between contemporary man and his original natural environment; traditional life ruled by the powers of nature and its cycles. These served as a point of orientation in the life of both the society and the individuals. They provided meaning and context to the events that occurred. They were a source of faith, superstition and ethical values.

The separation and detachment of man and nature, however, can be traced back to much earlier than the industrial revolution of the 19th century which started these turbulent social changes. The gradual secularization of Europe which started in the late 18th century, the following formation of modern classification sciences and the Cartesian distinction between body and mind of a few centuries ago; all these led to the fact that man started creating a myth of himself and his ability to name and grasp the surrounding environment through rationality. Scientific knowledge became the new highest value, specialized experts became the new priests and economists became the modern blind prophets.

Where did the human need for understanding the surrounding world through natural and extra-natural powers go with the scientific interpretation dictate growing stronger? What did it transform into? Why do horoscopes rank among the most read columns and why do people spend thousands for consulting TV fortune-tellers? What is the essence of esotericism?

Visual culture and esotericism will be discussed by the following guests:

ŠTĚPÁN PUDLÁK (semiotician): “Forms of discourse on esotericism”

RAFAL JECZMYK (curator): “Esotericism, visual arts and outsider art”

ONDŘEJ MORAVEC (film director, FAMU): “Ezops. Please hold the line”

The discussion will be followed by a film screening of the documentary film Ezops. Please hold the line.

Learn more about the program via our FB event!


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