New Thinking Allowed: Shannon Taggart

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Quote:Shannon Taggart is an artist and author exploring the mystery of photography and the representation of belief. Her images have been exhibited and featured internationally, including within the publications Time, New York Times Magazine, Discover and Newsweek. Her work has been recognized by Nikon, Magnum Photos, the Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography, and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. She is author of Séance, a book of artistic and historical photographs documenting the world of spiritualism. Her website is https://www.shannontaggart.com

Here she describes her introduction to the spiritualist community of Lily Dale, New York, located near her childhood home of Buffalo. A remarkable mediumistic reading, given to a cousin, led to the uncovering of a family secret regarding the death of her grandfather. For the last two decades, she has engaged in a journey of photographic exploration of the history and mysteries of spiritualism – attending many séances and classes, plus working closely with mediums around the world.


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A Conversation with Shannon Taggart

interview by Don Jolly

Quote:Garforth is a spiritualist. His religion, a product of the American nineteenth-century, holds that death is not the end of consciousness. For him, there is an eternal world of “spirit,” and certain gifted individuals, mediums, are capable of conveying messages and energy from the other side. Some can even manifest various physical substances and effects, broadly identified as “ectoplasm.” When he enters a trance, Garforth told Taggart, “You’ll see masks spilled over my face. You’ll see my hands change.” It was just how the spirits worked for him.

Taggart was skeptical. “I’m thinking, ‘Okay. Well that could mean many things,’” she said. “I didn’t go into his séance expecting anything. I got to sit in the front row, about six feet away from him.” She kept a camera on her lap.

“He was seated in front of a low red light,” she said. The room was dark, otherwise. After twenty minutes, the medium’s wife announced that spirits were going to begin working with his hands. Taggart remembered the next moment very clearly: “He just brought out his hand. What I saw, with my eyes, was this regular hand just very gently and instantly —skip gigantic.”

“I screamed out loud,” she continued. “Which is very impolite in a séance situation.”
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2021-02-18, 10:45 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)

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