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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Galerie Dennis Cooper presents … Emma Kunz

 

‘Born into a family of Swiss weavers under poor conditions in 1892, Kunz created mandala-like grids with colored pencil on graph paper that she regularly used as instruments of healing.

‘When Emma Kunz was about 18 she started practicing healing. She claimed to have telepathic and prophetic capabilities. Later, her work made her go looking in the Swiss countryside for materials with healing properties. The search was a success. In the beginning of the 1940s, Kunz discovered a stone that she said was unique. The stone, which she found in a quarry in Würenlos, was named AION A. She was convinced of its power to heal, and felt that it had to be known to the whole of humanity. The cave where the stone was found is called the Emma Kunz Grotto.

‘Between 1923-1939 Kunz worked for the artist and art critic Jacob Friedrich Welti. It was at the end of this period, in 1938, that she started to make her typical square metre sized drawings on graph paper. The artworks were created using graphite and colour pencil, as well as wax crayon. At that point, Kunz was in her mid forties and had no formal art education. Instead, Kunz was posthumously included in art history, and today she is looked upon as a visionary artist.

‘Each of Kunz’s diagrams were drawn in a single sitting, some of which could reportedly last over 24 hours at a time. The drawings were used to help her visualize the invisible realities that exist beyond the tangible, everyday world, and were composed with the aid of a divining pendulum that allowed her to plan the ultimate structure of their geometric configurations.

‘They operated both as documentation of research into and as conduits for patterns of vibrational energy that could be used to realign the psychic imbalances underlying her patients’ medical conditions, and thereby to cure them. She believed that art, nature, and life were all interwoven: drawing allowed her to take part in a world of forces, seize that world and orient it for an energetic sum leading to cosmic consciousness.

‘Her pieces were never meant to be displayed on a museum wall, but to lie on the floor between Kunz and one of her patients to function as diagrams and aid to meditation for the locating of a patient’s lifeline.

‘At the time of her death in 1963, Emma Kunz left behind about 400 works of art. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that her images were beginning to be exhibited in museums. It’s not unlikely that more people will pay attention to her art. This was something Kunz herself prophetically stated: “My art is destined for the 21st Century”.’ — collaged

 

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Further

The Emma Kunz Center
‘Art for the Third Eye’
‘MASTER OF THE MONTH: EMMA KUNZ’
Emma Kunz @ Facebook
AION A
‘EMMA KUNZ PFAD’
‘The time will come when my pictures will be understood’
‘Une artiste visionnaire et spiritualiste : Emma Kunz ou la géométrie thérapeutique’
Emma Kunz’s books

 

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Video

 

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At work

 

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At work

‘In 1942, the financial adviser to the royal family of Lichtenstein asked the artist Emma Kunz if she would attempt to “repolarize” Adolf Hitler from a distance. Citing excessive negative energies, she at first declined. When she later relented, the 63-centimeter metal spring Kunz used as a “transmitter” flew up and began to slash at her body, before wresting itself from her grip and flying across the room. As is often the case, art had failed to make an impact on worldly events.’ — Doug Harvey, LA Weekly

 

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The grotto

‘This special place of power and vitality in the Roman Quarry in Würenlos constitutes the heart of the Emma Kunz Center. It has become a spiritual and energetic meeting point for mankind. The rock Grotto is a large wide space, a place of contemplation with strong and at the same time subtle forces. Emma Kunz visited it repeatedly in order to, as she herself said, “to recharge her batteries”.

‘The fascination that this retreat of stillness and contemplation exercises on people has a quite special reason. Countless biophysical measurements endorse the amazing level of energy, which, originating in the inner mantle of the earth, has been permeating the rocks for millions of years.

‘This pulsing, energetic force is concentrated especially here in the mighty Grotto. It is sought out by visitors in order to utilize the equilibrating and harmonizing effect on body and mind. What effect does a visit to the Emma Kunz Grotto have? Just expose yourself to the experience. Everyone coming here can experience stored biodynamic powers, for the Grotto holds for each of us its own personal language and its own messages.’ — Emma Kunz Museum

 

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Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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p.s. Hey. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Thanks, for the cool add. YnY really covered all the bases. I hope your haircut is suitably pert and that the writing went well, and good news on the vote last night although fuck knows what’s going to happen now? ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Yes, it was a bit of a PGL wish list in hindsight. ** Sypha, Hi. Ha ha, Stewart loves to annoy people. ** Bernard Welt, Hi. You know, I do recall coming across a slave or two who characterised the destruction they wanted in piñata metaphoric terms, but, strangely, I also recall that their profiles dropped the ball linguistically to the point where I ultimately declined to reify them, or de-reify them? Expert, you are. Have I not restored your Dream posts? Hm. Well, if you’d rather update them, I’ll hold off until you do? Say the word? I really do envy your dreaming. My dreams are literally just samey illustrations of some deep anxiety that I don’t realise I feel when I’m awake. A collection of descriptions of my dreams would be the book equivalent of a Ramones album. ** Okay. So quiet you are of late. Interesting. Well, then, how about the curious art of Emma Kunz? Any takers? See you tomorrow.

12 Comments

  1. Fascinating story. Enchanting imagery.

  2. Hey D, how you been? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that satellite image of rolling farmland on the cover of a recording of Steve Reich’s “Music of 18 Musicians.” A real good recording, for that matter.

    Life has been weird post-book contract. Good weird, mostly (I have a nice apartment now! Entree to important people on both coasts! Buzz!) but I also feel strangely like I’m holding my breath. The book doesn’t come out for an entire year, I don’t even start promoting it until the fall at the earliest, so I’m in this strange holding pattern of wondering if anyone will read it/care/buy enough copies to make a dent in my advance. It’s tricky to stay productive on the next book when the old one doesn’t quite feel “done” yet, you know. And when you don’t know if my career so far is a pattern or a blip.

    Speaking of productive, I’ve been tearing through “Please Kill Me” the last couple days and it’s one of the coolest things I’ve read in ages. It’s so strange to read it and see how much was going on in such a compressed period of time; it feels like by the time the bands I’ve always loved (Blondie and The Ramones chief among them) took off, the really wild germinating times were in many ways winding down. Remind me, when did you show up in NYC? What was going on when you were here? I may try to corner you at some point and pick your brain about the downtown scene–I have a story set in the punk world I can’t get out of my head, so I think I’ll have to write it.

    Anyway, talk soon. Hope you and Zac are great; it was lovely seeing you a few months back

  3. Hey D, how you been? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that satellite image of rolling farmland on the cover of a recording of Steve Reich’s “Music of 18 Musicians.” A real good recording, for that matter.

    Life has been weird post-book contract. Good weird, mostly (I have a nice apartment now! Entree to important people on both coasts! Buzz!) but I also feel strangely like I’m holding my breath. The book doesn’t come out for an entire year, I don’t even start promoting it until the fall at the earliest, so I’m in this strange holding pattern of wondering if anyone will read it/care/buy enough copies to make a dent in my advance. It’s tricky to stay productive on the next book when the old one doesn’t quite feel “done” yet, you know.

    Speaking of productive, I’ve been tearing through “Please Kill Me” the last couple days and it’s one of the coolest things I’ve read in ages. It’s so strange to read it and see how much was going on in such a compressed period of time; it feels like by the time the bands I’ve always loved (Blondie and The Ramones chief among them) took off, the really wild germinating times were in many ways winding down. Remind me, when did you show up in NYC? What was going on when you were here? I may try to corner you at some point and pick your brain about the downtown scene–I have a story set in the punk scene I can’t get out of my head, so I think I’ll have to write it.

    Anyway, talk soon. Hope you and Zac are great; it was lovely seeing you a few months back

  4. Corey Heiferman

    March 13, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Wow a real mystic. I can’t say I’m one myself but I like to believe I know one when when I see one. The career I’ve been preparing for my whole life is Swiss sanatorium patient…

    I’ve enjoyed getting a lot of shit done this week. A lot of random boring shit I’ve been putting off for a while involving minor home repairs and various bureaucracies.

    The big news is per government scholarship rules I’ll be starting film school this October in order to qualify for a full ride. The only requirement is to start then, even if it’s just two courses per semester. My current set of gigs should be able to adapt well to student life, and there are also some other options. Now that there’s a sense of urgency, 7 months feels like more than enough time to prepare myself Hebrew and cinema wise.

    When were some of your most disciplined periods in life? In any kind of pursuit.

  5. Dennis,

    I like those ummm … kaleidoscopic drawings. Imagine just papering a whole bedroom wall with those? I think that would be cool. Just read a book of poems by Jan Beatty, Mad River, you familiar? It was very good. Somewhere between Eileen Myles and Adrienne Rich, tonally. Now I’m reading Period, finally. I reread my little review of Guide that I put on LibraryThing and remembered how much that book floored me. Hoping to be further amazed. I should maybe start writing at least brief reviews of books again, so I know what I was thinking when I read them. Hope you’re doing good!

    D.

  6. These are some glorious diagrams right here! They remind me of Hilma af Klint, another geometric abstract painter with her eyes on the stars.

    I’ve been doing some more writing homework and have come up with a thing I’m happy about. Our task this week is to use a factual article as the basis for a short story, and I chose something on the New Scientist website about a nurse with a highly developed sense of smell. In my take, she develops psychic powers and crashes the car of her philandering husband for the life insurance money. The story is titled Joy, Super Smeller and it was fun to write. I’ll see what the verdict is at the class tomorrow evening.

  7. Hey Dennis,
    Lovely + striking work here. Emma Kunz is new to me and glad to discover this and her story. Wonder if she’ll be taken up like Hilma af Klint? Something especially interesting about art that’s meant to serve another practical (if esoteric) function.

    Glad to see the Stewart Home post from a few days ago. Have you read any of his more recent novels? Any favorites among them?

    Have you ever done a post focusing on Derek Jarman’s 16mm films? And can I request a resurrection the wonderful “Dub” post that Tony O’Neill made aeons ago?

  8. I found some books thrown on the sidewalk today. I was thrilled that one was a collection of Jane Bowles stories, but one of them was a New Age treatise on using crystals for healing, which made me think back to Kunz. Her images are really lovely, reflecting a obvious dedication.

    If I have happy dreams, I don’t remember them. The dreams that stick with me are nightmares about banal events like taking a college class and getting in far over my head.

    Apparently, Instagram was down all day today. (I also had trouble posting on Facebook, which owns IG, although I could read it OK.) Everyone abandoned the influencers and thirst traps and took up meditation and bird watching instead!

  9. Here’s the schedule and my program notes for the Kamran Heidari series: http://www.spectacletheater.com/kamran-heidari/?fbclid=IwAR1sFxZFIPutUSkAwihjJE_a8ERwtVnrm_lelpKXlqkGDaxSSmS8GBANm-g. I’d love it if any blog readers in the New York area are interested. I will be introducing the opening night screening of NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS on April 2nd and conducting a Q&A with Heidari via Google hangout after the 10 PM screening of I AM NEGAHDAR JAMALI AND I MAKE WESTERNS on April 18th.

  10. Some very nice art today, almost theosophic in a sense. I approve…

    Dennis, tbh I’m not really the super-obsessive Current 93 fan that I was a few years ago. I mean I still listen to their albums (or at the very least certain songs) quite often but not to a fanatical degree. I think in some ways doing that first short story collection of mine (and also creating that giant Current 93 Day for the old blog years ago) kind of burnt the obsession out of me a bit. Weird… it probably doesn’t help matters that it’s been over a decade now since they last did what I would call a really great album… much of the albums “they” have done since then have been pretty hit or miss. Ho-hum…

    Speaking of short story collections I decided last night to abandon my projected 3rd collection, which was really 90-95% done. Just don’t feel passionate about it. I’ll save a few of the best stories for a hypothetical future collection and see if I can salvage any good sentences from the less inspired stories.

  11. (Took me awhile to see today’s post, with the Facebook outage.)

    Quite a story and gallery of work, Dennis. I’m happy to join the “I’ve never heard of Emma Kunz before today” club.

    When I saw the pinatas yesterday, I did quickly think about PGL!

    I started rereading Bo Huston’s first collection. So many wonderful pieces. There’s almost no information about Huston online, hmm.

    Bill

  12. Hey Dennis!

    These are pretty wonderful mandala’s. I love that she got her inspiration from this angular grotto; something about that concept is kinda inspiring in itself. And that’s such a fascinating reason to make these, for healing, it makes me really wanna see one in person.
    How’s it going? How did the poster debacle turn out? Oh, I definitely might be able to swing that PGL NYC run. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for when those times are solidified.
    Oh, shit, that sucks that things are messy right now. I’m kind of drowning in midterms work / internship applications lately, but obviously all your stuff is at a different scale. Good luck with all of that dude, once you pull through there’s gonna be a really wonderful payoff, I’m sure.
    Did you get to read my email by the way? Tell me what you think whenever. Hope your week is getting more manageably busy!

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