Bad at Sports Episode 71: van Straaten/ Hoke
Holy guacamole fun times! This week Kathryn Born interviews Natalie van Straaten. Mark Staff Brandl talks about Jeff Hoke's kickass book-website-museum Museum of Lost Wonder. Mike Benedetto gives a DOUBLE FEATURE REVIEW. Lastly there is a special bonus treat at the end of this weekâ��s show, it is a surprise. Natalie van Straaten has been a professional writer on arts subjects for more than 30 years and founded Chicago Gallery News in 1983. A curator, educator, administrator and organizer, she serves on various arts advisory boards and is a frequent juror in art competitions. She served as Executive Director of the Chicago Coalition for Arts in Education (1983-1986), and co-directed an art gallery for fourteen years. Shamelessly and apologetically lifted from Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Every now and then, a book comes along that's almost impossible to categorize, like Hoke's beautifully illustrated gem, a strange marriage of alchemical lore and psychology, science and "wonder." Hoke, an artist and a senior exhibition designer at California's Monterey Bay Aquarium, writes that the eclectic museums and curiosity cabinets of the 1600s inspired him, and that he wants to return us to a time before "science became a belief system unto itself," a time when artist-alchemist-scientists were able to search for inner truth via mystical experiences and experiments without being ridiculed. Guided by the Greek muses and lured by his lovely color illustrations, readers are beckoned into seven "exhibition halls," named for the stages of alchemical transformation from base matter to divinely inspired knowledge. Each exhibit also includes a pull-out interactive paper model, such as a "Do-It-Yourself Model of the Universe" in chapter one, where Hoke playfully addresses various creation myths. The chapter on dream states, visions and hypnosis is particularly fascinating. This is a book to linger over; it gradually reveals itself as a sly philosophical meditation on human consciousness, bringing in concepts from Tibetan Buddhism and quantum physics. Coming soon! Rodney Graham!!!