Spectral photography is the subject of “The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult,” an exhibition that will be opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 27.
The 120 pictures in the exhibition are by turns spooky, beautiful, disturbing and hilarious. They are also, by and large, the visual records of decades of fraud, cons, flimflams and gullibility – though there are also some pictures, like those produced by an eccentric Chicago bellhop, Ted Serios, said to be purely from his thoughts, in the 1960’s, that have never been adequately explained.
This preview article is also a sketch of Pierre Apraxine, one of the curators, at the Met, in charge of this exhibition. He is profiled as “the eyes, ears and auction proxy for the philanthropist Howard Gilman, who built a collection – recently acquired by the Met – that is widely considered to be one of the most important in the world.”