Cindy Mochizuki, 105 Chrysanthemums (detail).

“To talk to the worms and the stars”

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The New Gallery

“To talk to the worms and the stars,” a line from Arthur Evans’s Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture, recently found new life as a whimsical incantation and the title of a group exhibition. Each visitor repeated the words when entering the show on the night of the opening and throughout its duration, drawing a linguistically ceremonious line around the space and the featured works. Curator Natasha Chaykowski drew on the teachings of Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century nun, healer, herbalist, and cosmically inspired composer, who acted on mystical abilities that could not be defined within the existing framework of the Roman Catholic Church and sought to create space for practices and beliefs that fell outside Catholic dogma. Hildegard and her witchiness were equal parts complicit with and persecuted by the overarching patriarchy. In many ways, her project was similar to that of Arthur Evans, who sought to “creat[e] a genuine gay culture, one that is free from exploitation by bars, baths and Gay business owners.”.…see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.