The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern: The Exotic, the Erotic and the Bizarre
The London Festival of Photography is pleased to present this unique opportunity to experience the magic of a Victorian-era lantern slide show in what promises to be an exotic, erotic and bizarre evening of otherworldly entertainment.
Throughout the 19th century the magic lantern entertained, enlightened and shocked audiences in public halls and private drawing rooms. The range of material produced for sale and for hire was extraordinary, from amazing hand-painted mechanical moving slides to strange photo-documentary and photo story material that included people posed against naturalistic or painted backdrops.
In this special evening event, ‘Professor’ Mervyn Heard reveals some of the more peculiar, and frankly, quite puzzling photographic items from his extensive collection.
‘Professor’ Mervyn Heard is one of just a handful of professional ‘lanternists’ staging authentic magic lantern events internationally. He is particularly interested in the Gothic and the odd and frequently performs at the Little Shop of Horrors in Hackney. He has staged general and specialist shows in galleries and other arts venues as diverse as the Tate, Hayward Gallery, British Library, Barbican, the Wellcome Institute, international cinemateques throughout Europe, festivals in the USA, Canada and Australia and even a department store in Japan. He has performed on TV and in feature films, and is the the author of Phantasmagoria – The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern.
All of the material exhibited is authentic, as is the mahogany and brass double lantern.
This show is not considered suitable for children.
BOOKS BY MERVYN HEARD
Hand-tinted lantern slide - a dream-like scene from a popular illustrated ballad "If Those Lips Could Only Speak" c. 1912
Lantern image of a happy couple c. 1900 (identity unknown)
A mahogany and brass bi-unial projector from c. 1890