Kasper Opstrup Frederiksen: The Art of Magic in the Time of Trump

Abstract

During the last decade marked by financial and ecological crises, precarity, migration and the return of authoritarian conditions, there has been a marked occult revival in both the arts and the broader popular culture. This paper examines the occult art-activism against Trump and place it in a wider perspective of eco, gender and anti-fascist critique, and the 'mystical utopianism' of new social and religious movements. Examples include The Magical Resistance who meet once a month in a Brooklyn book shop to cast spells to bind Trump, rendering him incapable of hurting anybody, the Yerbamala Collective who use guerilla poetry and ritual to combat the new fascism as well as the radical performance collective W.I.T.C.H. (Women International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell) that grew out of Occupy Portland and has played a vital part in shutting down the city's infrastructure through carnivalesque means, thus throwing a spanner in the wheels of the container economy of the 21st century.