PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
FULGUR PRESS

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 11.75 x 9.75 in. / 304 pgs / 165 color / 8 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2019 p. 171   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781527236318 TRADE
List Price: $65.00 CDN $90.00

AVAILABILITY
Out of stock

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FULGUR PRESS

Shannon Taggart: Séance

Foreword by Dan Aykroyd. Text by Andreas Fischer, Tony Oursler, Shannon Taggart.

American photographer Shannon Taggart (born 1975) became aware of spiritualism as a teenager when her cousin received a message from a medium that revealed details about her grandfather's death. In 2001, while working as a photojournalist, she began photographing where that message was received—Lily Dale, New York, home to the world's largest spiritualist community, proceeding to other communities in, for example, Arthur Findlay College in the UK. Taggart expected to spend one summer figuring out the tricks of the spiritualist trade. Instead, spiritualism’s mysterious processes, earnest practitioners and neglected photographic history became an inspiration. Her project evolved into an 18-year journey that has taken her around the world in search of “ectoplasm”— the elusive substance that is said to be both spiritual and material.

With Séance, Taggart offers a series of haunting photographs exploring spiritualist practices in the US, England and Europe. Supported with a commentary on her experiences, a foreword by Dan Aykroyd, creator of Ghostbusters and fourth-generation spiritualist, and illustrated essays from Andreas Fischer and Tony Oursler, Séance examines spiritualism’s relationship with human celebrity and its connections with technology, and concludes with the debate over ectoplasm and how spiritualism can move forward in the 21st century.


PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Haute Macabre

Maika

Taggart’s captivating photos and their captions are each enthralling in their own right, but made all the more powerful thanks to the rich essays and historical information that precede them. This book is a marvel.

Financial Times

Madeleine Pollard

Séance illuminates the objects that are integral to spiritualist practices. Cutlery, radios and handkerchiefs are among the strange assortment of household items harnessed to bridge the gap between living and dead. By experimenting with chiaroscuro and exposure, Taggart casts these objects in an otherworldly light, haunting the viewer with a sense of the uncanny.

Elephant

Emily Gosling

Shannon Taggart’s book Séance presents images from within contemporary Spiritualist communities that most of us are totally unaware of, offering an eerie but sometimes very sweet portrait of a religion that is shrouded in darkness.

Paris Review

Shannon Taggart, a photographer whose passion for documenting Spiritualist rituals began in Lily Dale, has spent nearly two decades capturing the practices by which mediums (and their curious customers) attempt to reach those beyond the veil.

New York Times: T Magazine

Rebecca Bengal

The photographs in “Séance” are often most resonant when they slip furthest from photography’s ties to proof. At the heart of the book are Taggart’s portraits of individuals, alone and in community, seeking to make connections to the unseen.

Document Journal

Sara Rosen

A photographer’s 18-year quest to uncover Spiritualism’s radical feminist history.

Bookforum

Alex Jovanovich

Taggart’s photos...are beautiful, tender, and frequently eerie, as images of wonder and faith, hovering at the threshold of invisible worlds, should be.

Shannon Taggart: Séance

STATUS: Out of stock

Temporarily out of stock pending additional inventory.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/15/2020

Shannon Taggart, Mira Ptacin and Alex Mar in conversation at Powerhouse Arena

Shannon Taggart, Mira Ptacin and Alex Mar in conversation at Powerhouse Arena

Friday, January 17 from 7–9 PM, Powerhouse Arena presents photographer Shannon Taggert, author of Séance, in conversation with The In-Betweens author Mira Ptacin and moderator Alex Mar, author of Witches of America.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/15/2019

Séance Stories: Shannon Taggart lectures and book signings at Greenwood Cemetery

Séance Stories: Shannon Taggart lectures and book signings at Greenwood Cemetery

This week Greenwood Cemetery hosts photographer Shannon Taggart at two events. Wednesday and Thursday, October 16 and 17 from 6:30–8 PM Taggart will lecture and sign copies of her new book, Séance, published by Fulgur Press. In this illustrated presentation, Taggart will share rare historical images and never before told stories behind the photographs lavishly reproduced in her monograph. Refreshments will be served, and Fulgur publisher Robert Ansell will be in attendance with books available for signing.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/30/2019

Staff favorite "Séance" documents Shannon Taggart's quest for Spiritualist ectoplasm

Staff favorite "Séance" documents Shannon Taggart's quest for Spiritualist ectoplasm

The story of Kate and Margaret Fox (pictured in Shannon Taggart's remarkable new photography book, Séance, here photographed before the headstone of Anna Leah (Fox) Underhill, Kate and Margaret's sister and manager) "is a Spiritualist microcosm," Taggart writes. "Every topic tackled in this book traces back to their lives, including table-tipping, spirit materialization, automatic writing, communication with dead celebrities, technology's spiritual shadow, the scientific scrutiny paid to mediumistic bodies and the specter of fraud that haunts it all. My own initiation experience even echoes theirs—pubescent girl learns of a wrongful death from a restless spirit. The sisters' strange saga illustrates just how deeply intertwined fact and fiction are in Spiritualism. Their biography is a head-spinning tale of confusion—phenomenal feats of mediumship and displays of verifiable evidence, admissions of fraud, demonstrations of trickery and a series of recanted confessions. Even after their deaths in the 1890s, the story continued. In 1904, an incomplete human skeleton was unearthed from the Foxes' cellar, near a peddler's tin box. In 1905, Margaret Fox's doctor publicly testified that an immobilized Margaret produced hundreds of loud knocks in the walls, ceiling and floor of her room in the hours before her death. Today, historian Paul Gaunt is using primary sources to propose that the sisters' story is even weirder than it stands on record. In his retelling, the adults started communicating with the noisy spirit by using coded knocking and the young girls caught it like a virus. The phenomenon followed them wherever they went." Photograph by Lauren Kuehmeier. continue to blog


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