Language and login selector start
Language and login selector end

Full Access to this page is restricted to members of ArtFacts.Net

You will only see limited information for the artist until you purchase a membership.

Click here to buy a membership

Already a member? Login now

Basis voor Actuele Kunst - BAK

Public Institution
On Post-Secularism: Alternatives to Monotheism, 01.03.2009
  On Post-Secularism: Alternatives to Monotheism
01.03.2009, 15.00-18.00 uur/hrs

On Sunday 1 March BAK, basis voor actuele kunst presents the final session of the discourse program On Post-Secularism, entitled Alternatives to Monotheism with contributions by Lars Bang Larsen and Wouter Hanegraaff, and a screening of Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome by Kenneth Anger and Morning of the Magicians by Joachim Koester (with an introduction by Marco Pasi, well-known Aleister Crowley scholar and historian of religions, University of Amsterdam).

While monotheistic religions are commanding an ever-larger amount of media attention, there is also a strong subculture of alternative movements that manifest a profound disenchantment with monotheism and the quest for a seemingly pure spirituality. Hinduist traditions like yoga and Buddhist practices of meditation are adopted and adapted in the West, and in various esoteric groups other influences are amalgamated into a variety of interlinked faiths. While the use of new media and communication technologies by some of these groups is quite advanced, like earlier occult and esoteric groups a number of the new religious movements also evince an obsession with secrecy and knowledge control, at times trying to limit public scrutiny of their mysteries. Investigating the historical links between avant-garde practice and alternative religions as well as contemporary developments, this session seeks to probe the cultural and political ramifications of the dialectic of visibility and secrecy in alternative religions. Can it amount to a contestation of the dominant social order, or is it merely a religious articulation of the paradoxes characteristic of "intellectual property" in the age of YouTube and litigious media conglomerates?

Kenneth Anger, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, 1954, 16mm film, 38 min.
In this psychedelic movie based on the rituals of the cult of Aleister Crowley, Anger stages gods and mythological creatures in the iconography of pop culture.

Joachim Koester, Morning of the Magicians, 2005, 16mm film, 5:28 min.
In this filmic document, Koester recorded a visit to the abbey of occultist Aleister Crowley and his followers in Cefalů, Sicily.

The discourse program On Post-Secularism examines the popular assumption of the revival of religious faith, issues of iconoclasm, and the changing character of secularism in a series of lectures, presentations, and research meetings investigating different perspectives on the manifestation of religion in the public sphere. On Post-Secularism is co-organized with the Centre for the Humanities, Utrecht University (

Venue and time: Instituto Cervantes, Domplein 3, Utrecht, 15.00-18.00 hrs
Entrance fee €2
BOOKS@BAK members free
Language: English
Participants are invited to join us for drinks and snacks following the session.
Reservations recommended, please contact: t. +31 30 2316125 or e:
For more information, please visit

The exhibition The Art of Iconoclasm, curated by art historian and writer Sven Lütticken, which is also part of the project The Return of Religion and Other Myths, is on view until 1 March 2009 at BAK, Lange Nieuwstraat 4, and CM Studio, Centraal Museum, Agnietenstraat 2, Utrecht.
  • ArtFacts.Net - your experienced service provider

    Since its start in 2001, ArtFacts.Net™ developed a sophisticated artist database through its collaboration with international art fairs, galleries, museums and artists.