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Make Good Lecture: Secular Devotions, Nathalia Bell

Nathalia Bell

Lecture on sacrifice, cinema and smoking: film as stained glass devotions

Audio recording and slides from our January Make Good Lecture at Lumen, Kings Cross.

Nathalia Bell is a film artist and scholar formerly part of the Morphe community, now located in California. Bell’s films create ruminative spaces that juxtapose the sublime and profane.  She is fascinated by ancient religious practices such as creating altars and spaces for rituals, and believes these dynamics continue even in our secular age in pop culture, the absurd and mundane, all manifesting our human condition. Seeing film as stained glass devotions, she traces these ancient religious impulses in found-footage poetic essays. Bell’s recent project, Ziggurettes, revolves around exploring the spiritual resonances of smoking, as being a type of temple burnt offering, and secular equivalent to mindfulness breathing; a bizarre phenomenon where we play with our breath. She recently shared this project at several conferences ranging from film philosophy and mysticism, so she looks forward to sharing with the Morphe community.

Video works featured in the talk

1. Zigguretes (private video)

2. Cathedral of Cinema, (Draft): https://vimeo.com/791011916

An example of Nathalia's writing can be found at the Agnoscis Journal (produced by Sarah White, with Morphē Arts): featuring her essay, 'Negative Apotheosis: Georges Bataille and the Semiotics of Sacrifice in Performance Art'.

Details of Nathalia's Film work can be found at: www.nathaliabell.com


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