Archive for April, 2016

April Announcement for the Utah Westerners

THE DISEMBODIED WORD: MARIE OGDEN’S HOME OF TRUTH”

In 1933, Marie M. Ogden left the East Coast and drove full-throttle to Monticello, Utah, establishing her small spiritual commune on the rugged plains near Church Rock in San Juan County. Directed by a vision, Marie ventured out alone and settled on the arid desert plateau of Monticello at the height of the Great Depression, when the desert was a wild, parched place. With a small band of followers from New Jersey and Idaho, Marie built dwellings arranged in a series of “portals”, and named her settlement The Home of Truth. Despite the relative isolation of the group, Marie took a modern-pragmatic approach to proselytizing, purchasing the town’s only newspaper to become its editor-in-chief. The industrial print-press played an integral role in establishing and expanding The Home of Truth, and Marie’s writings preserve her legacy amidst the rich history of female spiritualists in the U.S.

Marie is a fascinating, stalwart individual, yet surprisingly, the Home of Truth is largely overlooked by histories of Depression-era metaphysical movements. This presentation reveals that Marie and her Home provide an ideal case study for examining the intersections of rural traditionalism and turn-of-the-century developments in science, medicine, and hermeneutics. With Marie at the forefront of this story, we uncover a riveting and modern tale of female transgression through radical spiritualism, and the ways in which language, through the act of writing, can hold the complexities of metaphysical thought and material practice.

Emma Kemp is a writer and video-artist from London, U.K., currently based in Los Angeles where she serves as faculty in Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts. Her current research interests include the slime mold Physarum polycephalum; the phenomena of falling; the aesthetics of death; and proto-New Age communities of the West and Southwest. Her work has been exhibited across the U.S. and U.K., including at Sotheby’s and Tate Modern, London.

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April 9, 2016 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment


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