Congress for Curious People, London
August 29th – September 8th, 2013
Every spring since 2007, Coney Island USA has convened ‘The Congress of Curious People,’ a 10-day theatrical gathering of strange and unique individuals celebrating the subversive and exciting power of the sideshow in its native environment. In 2010, ‘The Congress for Curious People’ was added to this heady mix; organised by the Coney Island Museum and the Morbid Anatomy Library, this series of lectures, performances exhibitions and symposia was created to introduce a scholarly component to the performances with which to explore the ideas of curiosity and curiosities, and particularly why we so enjoy collecting, creating, and contemplating them.
The theme of the 2013 London edition of the Congress for Curious People is ‘Spectacular Cultures’ and will take place from August 29th to September 8th in multiple venues around London. Produced by Morbid Anatomy, Preserved! and Strange Attractor, and supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Congress will consist of a variety of lectures, performances, open houses and tours which aim to open up a discussion, entertain, and bring an audience to amazing spaces in London that deserve more attention.
The Congress will end in a two-day symposium on ‘Reclaiming Spectacle’, which will include panels of academics, museum professionals, rogue scholars and artists discussing the intricacies of collecting the spectacular, the politics of bodily display, non-human spectacles, religion and the occult.
In this way, the Congress will create not only a forum for discussing but also for experiencing spectacle, mixing the academic with the popular spheres.
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