Death Salon, Los Angeles, California

A weekend symposium devoted to to discussions of mortality and its cultural implications with special programming by Morbid Anatomy and The Order of the Good Death
Dates: October 18 – 20
Full info and registration here

SCHEDULE

Friday, October 18 8PM
Death Salon Cabaret
Bootleg Theater 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

Death Salon Cabaret with talks, music, and short films hosted by Lord Whimsy with speakers including Paul Koudounaris, Author of The Empire of Death; Bess Lovejoy, author of Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses; Lindsey Fitzharris, Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow; and Sarah Troop, host of The Cabinet of Curiosities Podcast. There will also be  musical performances by Jill Tracy and Adam Arcuragi. More details can be found here.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013
Morbid Anatomy
Day
11 AM-6 PM

A one day, open-to-the-public Morbid Anatomy pop-up event which will explore the interstices of art and medicine, death and culture with screenings, a mini-symposium, a lecture on fin de siècle Parisian death themed cabarets with recreations of their classic drinks, and a panel on saints and mortification of the flesh.

11-1: Morbid Anatomy Anthology book panel of mini lectures, Midnight Archive screenings and panel discussion moderated by Lord Whimsy featuring:

1-2: Lunch

2-5:  Obliterated Bodies, Dissected Souls: Panel Moderated by Colin Dickey

Mortification of the Feminine Flesh: Elizabeth Harper
From the fatal anorexia of St. Catherine of Sienna to St. Rose of Lima’s hidden crown of nails, self-inflicted pain has become part of a well-worn path to holiness for many Catholic women. However, these shocking acts become comprehensible and even logical when seen as a response to the transformation of the Church from the egalitarian early Christian church to the strict patriarchy of the Catholic Church as we know it. This change, coupled with Catholicism’s unique views on death and martyrdom have lead many holy women to believe that to perfect a woman’s soul, her body must be destroyed.

The Annihilated Saint: The Signifying Body of Bartholomew: Colin Dickey
Colin Dickey discusses images of torture in the cult of Christian saints, particularly Saint Bartholomew, who was flayed alive and who is regularly depicted holding his own skin. Inverting the traditional relationship of torturer and powerless victim, Christian imagery turned the act of torture into empowerment, where specific methods of torture became iconically associated with specific saints. As the cult of the saints waned, these images of torture began to filter into European consciousness in bizarre and fascinating ways, as Bartholomew’s singular torture found its way into the lexicon of Renaissance anatomy textbooks, creating a new relationship between the sublime body and the dissected corpse.

Bringing Out the Dead: The “Anatomy Art” of Gunther von Hagens: Allison de Fren
Filmmaker/media scholar Allison de Fren discusses the corporeal displays of controversial German anatomist Gunther von Hagens. Using examples from both his traveling exhibition of human cadavers, Bodyworlds, and his UK television series Anatomy for Beginners, she will show how von Hagens recycles the visual motifs of Renaissance anatomy theatre and art to resuscitate the practice of public dissection for contemporary audiences

 5-6: ”Cabarets of Death” : Lecture followed by fin de siècle Parisian death-themed cabarets cocktails from original recipes with Mel Gordon Highly illustrated lecture with reprints of the Cabaret du Néant’s menu and a recreation of their classic drinks from original recipes.

Obscura Society NYC: “Up the Creek” with Mitch Waxman

February 15th: Join us at the Observatory for a photo slideshow and lecture presented by Newtown Creek Alliance historian Mitch Waxman.

A photographer and blogger, Mitch has been wandering around the currently undefended border of Brooklyn and Queens for several years. Mitch has visited its hidden corners and works to reveal its obscure story, documenting the rich history and environmental issues which plague a largely unknown 3.8 mile long waterway at the center of New York City and recently named to the Federal Superfund list

The presentation will photographically carry viewers from the Newtown Creek’s junction with the East River all the way back to the heart of darkness found at its end.

Mitch Waxman, described by the New York Times as a “Tour Guide to Decay” was raised in Brooklyn and started the Newtown Pentacle website in 2009 to document his adventures along the Newtown Creek (and in the greater harbor and city beyond). He has served the City of New York as a Parade Marshall three times, has been named the Newtown Creek Alliance’s group historian, is a Steering Committee member of the Working Harbor Committee, and offers regular walking, bus, and boat tours of the Newtown Creek Watershed. He resides in Astoria, Queens with his wife Catherine and their little dog Zuzu.

A book collecting his photos and discoveries- “Newtown Creek for the Vulgarly Curious”, is available for order at lulu.com, and a second book is in the process of being written.


This is part of the “Atlas Obscura Speakers” series of talks at Observatory.

For ticket information please CLICK HERE.
ADVANCE TICKETS RECOMMENDED.

The Obscura Society is the real world exploration arm of Atlas Obscura.
Find out more, and join our local events announcement list here.

Obscura Society NYC: Thomas Stathes Cartoon Carnival

When the Snow Flies (Paul Terry, 1927), Tom Stathes Collection

January 25th: Join archivist and projectionist, Tom Stathes, for a special screening celebrating the seasons
As Winter 2013 draws on, Tom Stathes has curated animated cartoons from the 1920s-1930s for every season of the year. Searching his vast stacks of 16mm animation rarities and Tom has hand-selected a wide array of gems: frolicking Springtime fun and hot Summer calamities for those with a warmer temperament, and breezy, cool Autumn shenanigans as well as snowy Winter escapades for those who relish the cold months. For a glimpse into past visions of the seasons as depicted by the merry-makers of early film animation, come enjoy the latest screening–shown in real 16mm film, with a real projector–a unique experience you’ll be sure to enjoy!

Tom Stathes is a Cartoon Cryptozoologist, with a rare film print collection comprised of over 1,000 shorts. His archive consists of everything from Felix the Cat and Farmer Alfalfa to silent reels from Bray Studios and Out of the Inkwell. A native-New Yorker, he turned his passion for the city’s animation legacy into a preservation mission. With his Bray Animation Project, he has worked with several film and comic historians to document the studios invaluable output. For more information go to cartoonsonfilm.com or brayanimation.weebly.com.

This is a part of “Atlas Obscura’s Speakers” series at the Observatory.

For ticket information CLICK HERE.

ADVANCE TICKETS RECOMMENDED.

The Obscura Society is the real world exploration arm of Atlas Obscura.

Find out more, and join our local events announcement list here.

The Fall of the American Movie Palace

Join photographer, Matt Lambros, for an illustrated lecture about the death of the country’s greatest and grandest movie theaters.

***ADVANCE TICKETS RECOMMENDED***

Date: Monday, December 3rd

Time: 7:30pm

Presented by Atlas Obscura

 

There’s nothing remarkable about a movie theater today, but there used to be. When the great American Movie Palaces opened, they were some of the most lavish, stunning buildings anyone had ever seen. With the birth of the multiplex, theater companies found it harder and harder to keep these buildings open. Some were demolished, some were converted, and some remain to this day. “The Fall of the American Movie Palace” will take you through the history of these magnificent buildings, from their opening in the early 1900s to years after the final curtain.

Matt Lambros is an architectural photographer who began photographing abandoned buildings ten years ago. Struck by both the sadness and extreme beauty of the Loew’s Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, he began further exploration into the history and architecture of early Twentieth Century American theaters. A graduate of Boston University’s digital imaging and photojournalism programs, Mr. Lambros has since been documenting the decay of America’s abandoned theaters in the hope of shedding light on these forgotten buildings and the efforts to repurpose them. Part of raising awareness for these treasures is his involvement with various organizations who work to restore and reopen abandoned theaters in the United States. Mr. Lambros has donated time and photographs to support such organizations as the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, who in 2009 acquired the historic Victory Theatre, derelict since 1979. Recently, Mr. Lambros’ abandoned theater photography has been featured in several publications, including Gawker, Gothamist, Curbed, and The New York Times. His work will soon be featured in several northeast art galleries. For more information go to www.afterthefinalcurtain.net and www.mlambrosphotography.com.

ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4687750187?ref=elink

Visit Sunny Chernobyl

An illustrated lecture with author Andrew Blackwell on his adventures in the world’s most polluted places

***ADVANCE TICKETS RECOMMENDED***

Date: Tuesday, October 9th

Time: 7:30pm

Presented by Atlas Obscura

Experts agree: humans are ruining the planet. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting. In Visit Sunny Chernobyl, Andrew Blackwell set out to explore seven of the world’s most degraded, contaminated environments, hell-bent on seeing the environmental apocalypse (and touching it, and tasting) for himself. The result is a wry memoir of adventure, heartbreak, and environmental reporting—and a love letter to Earth’s least-likely vacation spots.

In this pungent and wide-ranging lecture, peppered with tales of oil men, holy men, radioactive boy scouts, and plastic-hungry Ahabs, he will share what he learned from his journey to the suprisingly un-dark heart of environmental darkness, and argue that the end of nature is, paradoxically, a cause for hope.

Andrew Blackwell is a journalist and filmmaker living in New York City.

This is part of the “Atlas Obscura Speakers” series of talks at Observatory.

ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE http://atlasobscura.com/blog/Obscura-Society-NYC-Visit-Sunny-Chernobyl

 

Private Tour of the Coller Rare Book Room

Field trip to the New York Academy of Medicine Library

***SOLD OUT***

Date: Monday, September 24th

Time: 7:00pm

Location: 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY, 10029. The entrance is on 103rd Street.

Admission: $12

Presented by Atlas Obscura

The beautiful neo-romanesque New York Academy of Medicine building on the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street houses a significant collection of rare books and manuscripts in the history of medicine and related fields. The evening will begin with a visit to the Gladys Brooks Book and Paper Conservation Laboratory, where conservator Erin Albritton will talk about the repair and preservation of our collections. A visit to the Coller Rare Book Reading Room, where curator Arlene Shaner will share some of the significant books and artifacts from the collection, will follow. The tour will highlight items from various areas of interest, including cookery, botanicals, voyages of discovery and anatomy.

Details:

  • The Academy of Medicine is located at 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY, 10029. The entrance is on 103rd Street.
  • It is easily accessible by train: take the 6 to 103rd Street.
  • We will be meeting in the lobby.
  • No flash photograpy.
  • Parcels or bags larger than 12″ high and 12″ wide and 2″ deep will have to be checked.

THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT – JOIN  THE ATLAS OBSCURA/OBSCURA SOCIETY NYC NOTIFICATION LIST TO BE THE FIRST TO HEAR ABOUT UPCOMING ADVENTURES AND OPPORTUNITIES: NEW YORK CITY EVENTS ANNOUNCEMENT LIST

The Powerful Corpse: English Executions During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

An illustrated lecture with Dr. Sarah Tarlow, Professor of Historical Archaeology at the University of Leicester, England

***ADVANCE TICKETS RECOMMENDED***

Date: Friday, September 28th

Time: 7:30pm

Admission: $12

Presented by Atlas Obscura

By the middle of the eighteenth century in England, people could be executed for damaging the banks of a canal or sending poison pen letters. In response to this runaway punishment inflation, the Murder Act of 1752 specified that those convicted of really serious crimes should have their sentence augmented by a post-mortem element: they were to be denied burial until they had first been dissected by anatomists or left to rot in a gibbet cage. In this talk, Sarah Tarlow will examine the power of the criminal corpse through its journey from the gallows, where the touch of a dead man’s hand could be used to cure disease, through the weird geography of its dissection or ‘hanging in chains’, to its eventual deposition in a grave, a medical museum or a cabinet of curiosities.

Sarah Tarlow is Professor of Historical Archaeology at the University of Leicester, England. She is the author of several books including Ritual, Belief and the Body in Post-Medieval Britain and Ireland (2011) and is currently leading the interdisciplinary research project ‘Harnessing the Power of the Ciminal Corpse’.

This is part of the “Atlas Obscura Speakers” series of talks at Observatory.

ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE http://atlasobscura.com/blog/Obscura-Society-NYC-The-Powerful-Corpse

The Cataphiles

An illustrated lecture with urban explorer and author Moses Gates

***ADVANCE TICKETS RECOMMENDED***

Date: Tuesday, September 4th

Time: 7:30pm

Admission: $12

Presented by Atlas Obscura

Though it’s known as the “City of Light,” there are 170 miles of absolute darkness that exist under Paris – a network of limestone quarries dotted with WWII bunkers, ossuaries, unofficial art galleries, and other assorted surprises colloquially known as “The Catacombs.” It is home to a subculture of people of all ages, interests, and nationalities who make a hobby of exploring and utilizing these and other hidden spaces throughout Paris – the “Cataphiles.”

Moses Gates will be covering the history, culture, and structures of this underground world in a slideshow presentation, as well as explaining how you, too, can become a Cataphile.

Moses Gates is an urban planner, licensed New York City tour guide, and visiting assistant professor of demographics at the Pratt Institute. He is the author of “Hidden Cities,” a memoir of urban exploration around the world available from Tarcher/Penguin March 21st.

This is part of the “Atlas Obscura Speakers” series of talks at Observatory.

ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE http://atlasobscura.com/blog/Obscura-Society-NYC-The-Cataphiles

Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens–CANCELLED

An illustrated lecture with author Andrea Wulf

 

***ADVANCE TICKETS RECOMMENDED***

Date: Sunday, October 28th

Time: 7:30

Admission: $12

Event Cancelled

 

 

Presented by Atlas Obscura

 

This summer an extremely rare celestial event took place – the transit of Venus. In the eighteenth century the transit held the answer for one of the most pressing questions of the age: the size of the solar system. Hundreds of ambitious astronomers and their instruments were dispatched to observe the Venus’s march across the sun. At a time when war was tearing Europe and much of the rest of the world apart, they overcame political, geographical and intellectual boundaries – all in the name of science. New York Times Best Selling and award-winning author Andrea Wulf tells the extraordinary story of the first global scientific collaboration set amid warring armies, hurricanes, scientific endeavour and personal tragedy.

Andrea Wulf was born in India, moved to Germany as a child and lives in Britain. She’s the author of four books including “Founding Gardeners” and “Brother Gardeners” which won the American Horticultural Society 2010 Book Award and was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2008, the most prestigious non-fiction award in the UK. Her latest, “Chasing Venus”, was described by the Daily Mail in the UK as an ‘enthralling, nail-biting thriller’ and by the Boston Globe as ‘a book both astrophysicists and poets can understand’. She writes for the New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal and the Guardian. Last year she gave 50 talks on “Founding Gardeners” and is a regular contributor on radio and television.

This is part of the “Atlas Obscura Speakers” series of talks at Observatory.

ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE http://obscura-society-nyc-chasing-venus.eventbrite.com/

Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden

An illustrated lecture with author Brook Wilensky-Lanford

***ADVANCE TICKETS RECOMMENDED***

Date: Sunday, September 30th

Time: 7:30

Admission: $12

Presented by Atlas Obscura

 

Where on earth was the Garden of Eden? It might seem that the search would go extinct after Darwin taught us that humanity was not created in one fell swoop at a single place on the globe. But as author Brook Wilensky-Lanford reveals in her book Paradise Lust, an ongoing parade of eccentric seekers have drawn their own maps to Eden well into the twenty-first century.

William Warren, the first president of Boston University, declared in 1881 that Eden had been at the North Pole, before God flooded and froze it. Tse Tsan Tai, a Hong Kong entrepreneur, believed his Outer Mongolian Eden could bring about world peace in 1914. And in the 1950s, a libertarian politician opened a public park on the site of his Florida Panhandle Eden.

This illustrated talks examines the maps of these and other modern Eden seekers, searching for that spot where mythology and cartography meet.

Brook Wilensky-Lanford is the author of Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden, and an editor of the online literary magazine Killing the Buddha. She lives in the Garden State.

This is part of the “Atlas Obscura Speakers” series of talks at Observatory.

ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE http://obscura-society-nyc-paradise-lust.eventbrite.com/