Houdini: Art and Magic @ Jewish Contemporary, San FranciscoJuxtapoz // Tuesday, 01 Nov 2011
This exhibition has beeon one we have been meaning to check out here in San Francisco, and it doesn't take much to understand why: a full exhibition dedicated to the life and art of Harry Houdini, the most famed magician and illusionist the world has ever known. Houdini: Art and Magic, is currently on display at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in SF.
Handcuffs, shackles, straitjackets, milk cans, packing trunks – nothing could hold Harry Houdini (1874-1926), the renowned magician and escape artist who became one of the 20th century’s most legendary performers. With a talent for self-promotion and provocation, this immigrant son of a poor Hungarian rabbi rocketed to international fame and grabbed front page headlines with his gripping theatrical presentations and heart-stopping outdoor spectacles – often dangling high above huge crowds or being lowered dramatically into an icy river locked inside a crate.
The Contemporary Jewish Museum presents the first major exhibition to examine Houdini’s life, legend, and enduring cultural influence. Houdini: Art and Magic includes more than 160 objects including magic apparatus, a recreation of the famous Water Torture Cell, historic photographs, dramatic art nouveau-era posters, theater ephemera, and archival and silent films that allow visitors to fully explore the career and legacy of the celebrated entertainer. The exhibition also features 26 contemporary works of art by Jane Hammond, Vik Muniz, Raymond Pettibon and more that bring to light Houdini’s lasting impact on contemporary art and culture.
The exhibition is on display through January 16, 2012.