Archive for August, 2009

Tarot at SFMOMA

August 23, 2009

Jankowski's Telemistica at SFMOMO

I recently wrote about finding tarot symbols at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. I just came back from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and was interested to find the video piece, Telemistica,  by Christian Jankowski. Below is the text from the placard, which accompanies it:

Christian Jankowski, German born 1968

Telemistica, 1999, Single-channel video projection with sound, 22 min. Courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery, London

Desperate to come up with a new work for the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1999, Jankowski learned Italian in order to consult with the tarot-card readers popular on Italian television. In this video we hear him speaking live on the telephone with five such fortune tellers, asking each of them questions about the piece he was in the process of realizing and the future of his career. Not surprisingly, all of them predicted that the artist would be a success. These recorded, unrehearsed exchanges became the breakthrough piece in question. Telemistica reveals the tensions between faith and doubt, success and failure, that are inherent in the pressure to deliver a strong work. Jankowski has since collaborated with various television personalities to expand on the notion of art in ways that are both sincere and humorous.

Of course it’s the psychic readers who get television shows. The reader in the photo above gave Jankowski assurance  that he was going to be successful though she had little to offer regarding what he might do to move in that direction. Had I been channel surfing and come across her show, I would have clicked right past it. I find psychic readings to be rather vague and dull. In the context of installation video art, the reading was more interesting. Jankowski, the vulnerable artist seems sincerely in hope of a good prediction as he engages with the reader, while Jankowski the sophisticated artist has the confidence that the viewer will see through the shallowness of the reading without his need to overtly comment.

I would love the opportunity to show Jankowski more substantial ways to use the cards to inspire art.

Today is National Relaxation Day in the USA

August 15, 2009

Today is National Relaxation Day in the USA. How do you like to relax? Leave a comment and let us know which card best shows your idea of relaxation. Feel free to suggest others not shown below.

World Spirit Tarot, 9 Pentacles Two of Pentacles

vt8pentaclesEclectic Tarot, The Fool

Tarot of Baseball, The High Priestess Deva Tarot, The Empress


Nine of Pentacles from the World Spirit Tarot

Two of Pentacles from the Rider-Waite Tarot

Eight of Pentacles from the Victorian Romantic Tarot

The Fool from Eclectic Tarot

The High Priestess from Tarot of Baseball

The Empress from Deva Tarot

Tarot Table Talk is back

August 4, 2009

To all of you bloggers and web hosts out there, be sure not to let your domain name expire unless you are really really sure you’re ready to give it up.

In June, I let go of I had signed off in November and let the domain expire. Yesterday I tried to get it back but it was snatched up by one of those domain-snatching agencies, and I’m told by an agent that I probably wouldn’t be able to get it back for less than $500.00. Well, I’d rather add $500.00 in tarot decks to my collection, thank you very much! will do just fine—lucky for me they hadn’t snatched that up!

So what inspired me to come back to TTT? New York City. I’m vacationing in the big apple, and have just spent two days wandering through the Met. Tarot was everywhere:

There were knights…

Knight at the Metropolitan Museum

and the Nine of Cups…

Challices at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

and The Chariot…

Chariot at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

and Lorenzo di Credi’s Portrait of a Young Woman…

Lorenzo di Credi's Portrait of a Young Woman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

which immediately brought to mind Kat Black’s Two of Swords in The Golden Tarot. Or was it the Two of Swords in Kat Black’s Touchstone Tarot? Hmm. Let me consult my Touchstone Tarot iPhone app

Consulting iPhone at the Metropolitan Museum

Nope. It was the Golden Tarot after all…

The Golden Tarot, Two of Swords

There were, of course, lovers everywhere…

Psyche & Cupid at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Even on the streets…

Lovers in NYC

I started thinking how fun it would be for a group of  tarot enthusiasts to get together and do a scavenger hunt through a museum in search of tarot images. They could snap photos and make a slide show to share, and then I thought, a blog would be a good way to do something like that! Hey, I had one of those!

So, dear readers, feel free to send photos and captions to me at: susan (at) magicians-table (dot) com. No need to limit yourself to museums. Street shots are welcome, grocery stores, wherever you find them.