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Hypnagogia--a fancy Greek word for the transition from wakefulness to sleep--is a state of consciousness in which trippy mental phenomena like lucid dreaming, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis occur. It's a state that artists and scientists through the ages have famously mined for ideas--Beethoven, Salvador Dalí, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Isaac Newton all credited hypnagogia with enhancing their creativity. Opus Hypnagogia: Sacred Spaces of the Visionary and Vernacular, on view now at the Morbid Anatomy Museum, showcases otherworldly artworks implied to have been made while their creators were in...
Last weekend, hundreds of people waited in a two-and-a-half hour line down a Gowanus block to get into the latest Morbid Anatomy Museum Flea Market. They were desperate to stock up on things like insect shadowboxes, mourning rings, “hair art,” taxidermy, cat skulls, and human teeth. How did they survive without all this stuff just a year ago? Since opening in Gowanus last July, the Morbid Anatomy Museum has evolved into one of Brooklyn’s weirdest and most exciting cultural...
If you’ve ever seen an old school magic show, either live or on film, you’ve probably seen a woman get sawed in half on stage. In an age when far more exciting images of violence dominate the media, the trick now seems a cliched magician gimmick, like pulling rabbits out of hats. But as the Morbid Anatomy Museum's latest show reveals, such “torture illusions,” as they were known in the early 20th century, have a strange, dark history that reveals much...

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