Elijah Burgher @ Shane Campbell

There have been a lot of shows lately with occult, mysterious, or power image content, but Elijah Burgher does more with the material than most. In his work on display at Shane Campbell‘s Oak Park space, Burgher knits together queer culture and witchcraft/sorcery/the occult with soft, muted drawings of nude men preparing spaces for and performing intimate (though not overly sexual) rituals.

Elijah Burgher, Preparing a Ritual Space 2

Elijah Burgher, Preparing a Ritual Space 2

There are many of points of connection in the queer/occult relationship, from the in the social deviant role given to both by mainstream culture, to insider signs and signals, to the fearful potentials of private physical rituals in the minds of the uninitiated or ignorant. While that alone would be enough to carry the work, Burgher’s goes farther and escapes the limits of this pure analogy through a somewhat fantastic discussion of intimacy as functional ritual, designed both to mark and bond participants while honoring an idea or changing reality into a more desirable form.

Elijah Burgher, Promise Delivery

Elijah Burgher, Promise Delivery

Elijah Burgher, JCDC

Elijah Burgher, JCDC

For all their modest size and materials, Burgher’s small drawings on spiral bound paper are able to mark out a wide space for discussion, even beyond the almost certainly terminal topic of gay sorcerers.

I give it a:

7.8

Elijah Burgher exhibition opened January 24th and runs through April 18th, 2010 @ Shane Campbell Gallery125 N. Harvey Ave. Many more images can be found at Elijah Burgher’s blog.

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Comments 2

  1. hosefina wrote:

    able to mark out a wide space for discussion, even beyond the almost certainly terminal topic of gay sorcerers.

    then do it.

    Posted 26 Jan 2010 at 9:42 PM
  2. Steve Ruiz wrote:

    I dunno, that content would be more of how I personally feel about the topic of discussion, its content, and not so much how the art is creating or encouraging that discussion, which I feel is more appropriate for a short-form review. For whatever reason I’m comfortable here just pointing at the what the art is doing and saying and saving the talking for a private or more interactive setting – but I also see your point.

    Posted 26 Jan 2010 at 10:10 PM

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  1. From Artists You Should Know: Top Picks | Chicago Art Magazine on 07 Apr 2011 at 6:03 AM

    […] Burgher When describing Elijah’s provocative and rich pieces of art, I believe this quote from Chicago Art Review states it best: “Elijah Burgher knits together queer culture and witchcraft/ sorcery/ the occult […]

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