Tag Archives: L & M Arts

Brian Butler conjures the demon Bartzabel

Brian Butler conjures the demon Bartzabel” is an article that further discusses from the viewpoint of someone in attendance interviewing Brian Bulter about his recent public Bartzabel working at L & M Arts in Los Angeles.


Bartzabel Working by Brian Butler from Brian Butler on Vimeo.

 

“The auteur of this scene is Los Angeles-based artist Brian Butler, an icon in an occult subculture that has blossomed over the last decade. A would be polymath—artist, filmmaker, musician, and writer—Butler’s persona has been constructed around an overt dedication to the black arts, and a willingness to make public the rituals and tenets of a faith that have traditionally been kept secret by others. That, along with his ties to people with infamous reputations, most notably Kenneth Anger, have made him equally lauded and reviled.

The scene in question—Butler’s latest and most grandiose display—was a public performance of Aleister Crowley’s The Bartzabel Working. Based on techniques of evocation found in medieval grimoires, the ritual was written in 1910 and designed to manifest Bartzabel, a traditional spirit of Mars in Western occultism, through a hooded person placed in a magical triangle. The crowd, which packed the gallery’s courtyard, was the largest ever assembled to witness a Crowleyan rite.” [via]

 

Are there precedents for what you are doing, or do you believe it to be unique? What do you think the connection with ritual portends for the future of art and performance?

In the context of the art world, this connection is a new one—it hasn’t really been explored. Certainly there have always been artists interested in the occult, and who allowed that to inspire their work—it even became a kind of subgenre in early Modernism, but it was often hidden under the formal content of the work, as in the case of Piet Mondrian, for instance. But the overt connection, with the performance of ritual magick as art, is something new. I think it is a step towards a more intimate relationship between artist and audience—I am reminded of something that Marina Abramovic elucidated to me about the occult in the context of performance, that the future will be one of a non-objective world without art in the sense that we have it now. She foresees us attaining a mental state and level of consciousness enabling us to transmit thoughts to other people. “There will not be sculptures, or paintings, or installations,” she once said, “there will just be the artist standing in front of a public, which is developed enough to receive a message or energy.” I think the fusion of art and ritual is a step toward that kind of connectivity and that kind of intimacy.” [via]

For the Martian Chronicles exhibit and The Bartzabel Working performance

For the Martian Chronicles is an exhibit at L & M Arts in their West Gallery space located in Los Angeles. This overall exhibit includes works by a number of artists, such as Kenneth Anger, Brian Butler and Cameron Parsons.

“L&M Arts is proud to present For the Martian Chronicles, an exhibition that pays homage to the late writer Ray Bradbury (1920-2012), who in the 1940’s lived in a home located on the current L&M Arts property.”

“Curated by Yael Lipschutz in honor of Bradbury and his journey into the red unknown, the exhibition will include the original manuscript of The Martian Chronicles …” [via]

The exhibition itself will feature a nightly film loop that includes films from Kenneth Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother, Brian Butler’s Night of Pan.

 

Tonight, on Tue, Dec 4th from 8:30p–11:30p, there will be a special performance of The Bartzabel Working by Brian Butler, actor James Franco and others.

“Based on a ceremonial evocation of the spirit of Mars, first written and performed in London in 1910 by the famed British occultist Aleister Crowley, the ritual later became part of Los Angeles history in 1946 when Jet Propulsion Laboratory rocket scientist and Crowley protégé Jack Parsons conducted his own version of this rite, with the intention of placing a martial curse on a pre-scientology L. Ron Hubbard.

For his reinterpretation of this historical performance, Butler will conjure Bartzabel, the spirit of Mars, evoking the site that was once home to the late sci-fi author Ray Bradbury and currently comprises L&M Arts. The ritual will have Butler as Chief Magus, leading a cast drawn from his upcoming feature film King Death and featuring Henry Hopper as Assistant Magus, Noot Seear as Magus Adjuvant, and James Franco as Material Basis, the vessel though which the spirit of Mars manifests.

The performance will take place on Tuesday, December 4th at 8:30pm, followed by a reception with tunes courtesy of DJ artist Eddie Ruscha and a choreographed performance by artist Nana Ghana and Future Eyes.” [via, also]