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Shannon Taggart

Séance, Shannon Taggart

Séance, Shannon TaggartSÉANCE
Shannon Taggart
Atelier Éditions


Second Edition of 3,000
104 pages
285 x 230 mm
ISBN 9781954957015


Shannon Taggart became aware of Spiritualism as a teenager, when her cousin received a message from a medium that revealed details about her grandfather’s death. In 2001, while working as a photographer, she began taking pictures where that message was received—Lily Dale, New York, home to the world’s largest Spiritualist community—proceeding to other such communities as England’s Arthur Findlay College. Taggart expected to spend one summer figuring out the tricks of the Spiritualist trade. Instead, Spiritualism’s mysterious processes, earnest practitioners, and neglected photographic history became an inspiration. Her project evolved into an eighteen-year journey that has taken her around the world in search of ‘ectoplasm’—the elusive substance that is said to be both spiritual and material.

With Séance, Taggart offers haunting images exploring Spiritualist practices in the US, England and Europe: 150 of her original photographs, many of which have never been published, as well as rare historical photographs. Supported with a commentary on her experiences, a foreword by Dan Aykroyd, creator of Ghostbusters (1984) and fourth-generation Spiritualist, and illustrated essays from curator Andreas Fischer and artist Tony Oursler, SÉANCE examines Spiritualism’s relationship with human celebrity, its connections to art, science, and technology, and its intrinsic bond with the medium of photography. The book concludes with the debate over ectoplasm and how Spiritualism can move forward in the twenty-first century.

Atelier Éditions’ reissue also features new commentary by writer and filmmaker J. F. Martel, additional images, and an updated design.

About the Artist
Shannon Taggart is an artist and author based in St. Paul, MN. In a past life, she contributed to printed publications including TIME, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, Discover, New York, Wall Street Journal and Reader’s Digest. Her work has been exhibited internationally and recognised by PDN, Nikon, Magnum Photos + Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography, International Photography Awards and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. Her first monograph, SÉANCE (Fulgur Press), was published in 2019. Currently, she is working on an illustrated book about The Society for Research on Rapport and Telekinesis (SORRAT), one of the most exotic cases within the history of psychical research.

About the Publisher
Atelier Éditions is an independent publishing house established in Los Angeles in 2015. Fascinated by idiosyncratic narratives drawn from the fields of architecture and design, contemporary ethnography, material culture, and vernacular photography, Atelier Éditions authors archival monographs, artists’ books, exhibition catalogues, catalogues raisonnés, and exploratory printed matter. And provides curatorial and editorial consultation to practicing artists, artists’ estates, educational organizations, and cultural institutions. Atelier Éditions’ award-winning books are distributed internationally by Distributed Art Publishers.