Spirit Photography – Fotografia spiritica tra ‘800 e ‘900

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È la fine del XIX secolo, il mondo pare cambiare troppo vorticosamente. Il metallo svetta dal cemento delle metropoli e promette di toccare il cielo. Nuove generazioni si scontrano con quelle vecchie, i cabaret sono affollati da “cocotte”, i bar da artisti che annegano nell’assenzio insieme alle prostitute. La domenica si indossa l’abito buono, chi può permetterselo sfoggia quello bianco. Cambia il modo di ricordare, la fotografia sostituisce le tele dei pittori, e ci descrive di quella strana moda che imperversò durante l’epoca vittoriana giungendo ai primi decenni del nuovo secolo: lo spiritismo. Dalla Russia degli Zar a  Villa Santa Barbara di Cefalù personaggi carismatici, mistici, visionari muovono folle di adepti assetati di conoscere i segreti della vita e della morte. Il clima di trasformazione sociale, i nuovi mostruosi mondi generati dal capitalismo, generano ansia, terrore, malattia. Tubercolosi e sifilide sono solo due tra i tanti virus che decimano impietosi uomini e donne, i dagherrotipi cercano di fermare inutilmente quelle esistenze, ma sono solo fotografie. Allora ci si riunisce in casa, nel salotto, si chiudono le pesanti tende in broccato e intorno a un tavolo solitamente con tre gambe, le mani dei presenti si stringono in una catena, e il medium invoca una presenza. Di seguito una selezione di immagini d’epoca che testimonia la pratica dello spiritismo tra la fine del 1800 e l’inizio del 1900. Come tutte le tendenze, numerosi fiorirono i gabinetti fotografici esperti nel ritrarre quelle immagini che presero il nome di “fotografie spiritiche”.  Alcune tra queste sono frutto di un abile e antesignana pratica di fotoritocco, i cui effetti speciali hanno contribuito ad alimentare come vento sul fuoco le fiamme della speranza, il morbo della conoscenza, consumando le struggenti notti di quel tempo perduto.

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It’s the end of the Nineteenth century, the world seems to change too vortically. Metal stands out from the cemented streets of the metropolises and promises to touch the sky. New generations clash with old ones, cabarets are crowded with “cocottes”, bars by artists drowning in absinthe along with prostitutes. On Sundays people wear the “good dress”, a white one if wealthy. The way to remember changes, photography replaces the paintings, and describes that strange fashion that raged during the Victorian Age reaching the first decades of the new century: spiritualism. From Tsars’ Russia to Villa Santa Barbara in Cefalù, charismatic, mystical and visionary characters move crowds of adepts eager for knowing the secrets of life and death. The mood of general social transformation, the new monstrous worlds created by capitalism, generate anxiety, terror, disease. Tuberculosis and syphilis are just two of the many viruses that merciless decimate men and women, daguerreotypes try to uselessly stop those existences, but they are only photographs. Hence people meet at home, in the living room, they close the heavy brocade curtains and around a table with three legs the hands of those present are clutched in a chain, and the medium invokes the presence. Below you can find a selection of antique images proving the practice of spiritualism between the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like all the trends, there bloomed numerous photographic cabinets, specialized in portraying those images that took the name of “spiritual photographs”. Some of those images are the result of a skilled and precursor practice of photo editing, which special effects have helped to fuel the flames of hope, the morbidness of knowledge like the wind on the fire, consuming the poignant nights of that lost time.

 

Special Thanks for supporting translation SERENA BARTOLO

Luciano Lapadula

Spirit-Photography1

Victorian couple with ghost of daughter

Katie King fu il nome di uno tra i più famosi – presunti – fantasmi che sul finire dell’Ottocento presero forma grazie alla medium Florence Cook, fu così che gli spiritisti attribuirono lo stesso nome alla materializzazione spiritica di quegli anni.

Katie King was a popular ghost evocated by Florence Cook, and was already the name given by Spiritualists in the 1870s to what they believed to be a materialized spirit. The question of whether the spirit was real or a fraud was a notable public controversy of the mid-1870s.

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Katie King materialized, photograph of Sir William Crookes

Eusapia Palladino, nata nel 1854 a Minervino Murge, in provincia di Bari: Fu una tra le medium più conosciute e accreditate di tutti i tempi. L’iniziazione allo spiritismo avvenne quando, lavorando come cameriera presso una benestante famiglia, iniziò a prendere parte alle sedute  organizzate nella lussuosa dimora. Fu durante quelle sedute che si verificarono fenomeni mai accaduti prima, che furono attribuiti alla presenza della giovane. Nella sua carriera di occultista ebbe fama mondiale affascinando aristocratici e scienziati, tra i quali Cesare Lombroso e persino Pierre e Marie Curie.

Eusapia Palladino, born in 1854 in Minervino Murge, near Bari: she was one of the best known and accredited mediums of all time. The initiation into spiritism came when, working as a waitress with a rich family, she began to take part in the sessions inside the luxurious home. It was during those sessions that phenomena never happened before were ascribed to the presence of the young woman. In her career as an occultist she gained world fame by captivating aristocrats and scientists, including Cesare Lombroso and even Pierre and Marie Curie.

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Eusapia Palladino Hands. Collection Tony Oursler

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The well-know italian medium Eusapia Palladino during a spiritual seance

Seance with Eusapia Palladino at the home of Camille Flammario 1898

Eusapia Palladino at the home of Camille Flammarion, Rue Cassini. Full levitation of a table. 12 November 1898

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Victorian Spiritualism Movement Seance conducted by John Beattie in Bristol in England, 1872

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Ghost levitation

Amazing spirit photography by astonishing William Hope: english author, photographer, sailor, and body-builder

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William Hope

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William Hope

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William Hope

French medium Marthe Beraud aka Eva Carriere

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Materialização ectoplásmica eva carriere 1912

A young woman face appear from ectoplasm by Eva Carriére  – 1912

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1912: Eva Carriere has a spiritic light between her hands and a materialization on her head.

Richard Boursnell (1832 – 1909), medium e fotografo britannico esperto in immagini spiritiche. Suoi alcuni tra i più intensi scatti mai realizzati su questo tema.

Richard Boursnell (1832 – 1909), medium and British photographer expert in spiritual images. His some of the most intense shots ever made on this subject.

Richard Boursnell - Spirit Photographer c.1908

Robert Boursnell, Self-Portrait with Spirits, Silver print cabinet card, March 1902

Robert Boursnell, Self-Portrait with Spirits, Silver print cabinet card

spitism photography

Frederick A. Hudson (England)
Mr. Raby with the Spirits “Countess,” “James Lombard,” “Tommy,” and the Spirit of Mr. Wootton’s Mother.
circa 1875 – from www.photographymuseum.com

M. Parkes (England), Mrs. Collins & Her Husband's Father, Recognized by Several, Albumen carte de visite, 1875

M. Parkes (England), Mrs. Collins & Her Husband’s Father, Recognized by Several, 1875

Spesso durante le sedute medianiche si materializzava, o si supponeva si materializzasse, una sostanza semi liquida che fuoriusciva dagli orifizi del medium, a cui lo scienziato Charles Richet dette il nome di ectoplasma. Questo poteva assumere svariate forme, riconducibili all’esistenza del trapassato.

Often during the seance sessions, a semi-liquid substance materialized, or was supposed to materialize, it came out of the medium’s orifices, to which the scientist Charles Richet gave the name of ectoplasm. It could take many forms, attributable to the existence of the person who passed away.

According to spiritualists, it was a substance that would be externalized by the bodily orifices of the medium during a séance.

ectoplasm regurgitation

The ectoplasm comes out as a regurgitation from the mouth of the medium into a trance

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F. C. E. Dimmick (England) blog

C. E. Dimmick (England)
“Mrs. Dorothy Henderson. Head bent forward, hands controlled and Ectoplasm covering her lap.”
October 2, 1928 – www.photographymuseum.com

W. J. Crawford - The psychic structures at the Goligher circle

W. J. Crawford – The psychic structures at the Goligher circle

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Ectoplasm from Kathleen Goligher

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A well-known medium, Mina “Margery” Crandon conducting a séance

The famous medium Mina “Margery” Crandon (1889 – 1941) conducting a séance – late 20s

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dangerous ectoplasm for Mina “Margery” Crandon

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Look down, on the right

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Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler – 1922

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Nazi Men Aesthetic | Bellezza Maschile nel Terzo Reich

L’oscura voragine entro cui sprofondò l’ideologia nazista fu contraddistinta da una singolare antinomia che vide il trionfo di un’ossessiva ricerca della perfezione estetica alternarsi a una morale scellerata. All’animo turpe di molti soldati del Terzo Reich corrispondeva un’apparente contraddittoria bellezza fisica, quasi come fosse necessaria a purificare la crudeltà dei loro pensieri. Attraverso questa serie di immagini la mia ricerca esibisce lo splendore del male e il travestimento del ripugnante, che generano una euritmia spaventosa.

The obscure chasm in which the Nazi ideology collapsed was marked by a singular antinomy that saw the triumph of an obsessive pursuit of aesthetic perfection alternating with a nefarious morality. To the turbulent mind of many soldiers of the Third Reich corresponded an apparent contradictory physical beauty, almost as if it were necessary to purify the cruelty of their thoughts. Through this series of images my research exhibits the splendor of evil and the disguise of the repugnant, which generates a frightening eurythmy.

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© SS young pretty soldier. Beautiful innocent face, in contrast with the skull on the hat

marseille

© Hans Joachim MarseilleHansJoachim Walter Rudolf Siegfried Marseille was a German fighter pilot during World War II. A flying ace, he is noted for his aerial battles during the North African Campaign. Marseille claimed all but seven of his 158 victories against the British Desert Air Force over North Africa

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© Early in his career, he was transferred from JG-52 by his commander, the famous Johannes “Macky” Steinhoff who said, “Marseille was remarkably handsome”

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© Hans-Joachim Marseille in North Africa

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Group of nazi soldiers

Young Waffen-SS soldie

Young Waffen-SS soldier

The Kam brothers, left-right Poul, Soren and Erik nazi beauty boys men soldiers gay blog blogger fashion luciano lapadula

© Poul, Soren and Erik: The Kam brothers.
They volunteered and fought in the 5th SS division, Wiking

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© Soren Kam. Soren was the CO of the Schalburg corps, a Danish element of the SS, was alleged to have been involved in the theft of the Jewish birth records in Denmark, so they could be efficiently deported/exterminated, recipient of the Knights Cross and was #5 on the Jews most wanted list before his death

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© Ludwig Kepplinger (31 December 1911 — 26 August 1944) was a Sturmbannführer (Major), in the Waffen-SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross

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Joachim Peiper

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Captured German soldiers by Canadian soldiers 1943 c.

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Erich “Schmidtchen” Schmidt (

Værnepligt

During the battle – 1943

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© Sweet and Beautiful junior army officer

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© Look as a 90s JPG model. Kriegsmarine/German Sailor

Helmut Oberlander beautiful nazism nazi beauty men boy man blog gay moda fashion history

© Helmut Oberlander (born 15 February 1924) is a former Canadian citizen who was a member of the Einsatzgruppen death squads of Nazi Germany in the occupied Soviet Union during World War II. Oberlander is on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of most wanted Nazi war criminals

german nazi boy blog moda luciano lapadula hairstyle

© Gerhard “Gerd” Barkhorn (20 March 1919 – 8 January 1983) was the second most successful fighter ace of all time after fellow Luftwaffe pilot Erich Hartmann, the two people to ever exceed 300 confirmed victories

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from Nazi Marine

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Kriegsmarine

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Kriegsmarine

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© SS Untersturmführer Havvo Lübbe 1942

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