With a longstanding interest in our attempts to navigate the Absurd, Candida Powell-Williams began to explore the cultural heritage of tarot.
Her research, as part of her residency at London’s Warburg Institute, informed the creation of an hour long performance at the Serpentine Gallery, London in 2018, where she re-animated the tarot as a three dimensional space, exploring the encounter between action, storytelling, symbolism and magical thinking.
Based on this work, Candida has created her own 78-card Tarot deck, which common-editions will publish this Spring. Unreasonable Silence maps the depiction of archetypes and symbols from classical antiquity to present day whilst drawing influence from the geometric, biomorphic and symbolic language of occult practices.
It is customary for decks to include a small book, a manual to guide the reading of the Tarot for divination purposes, and Powell-Williams has re-imagined this format as an artist’s book, with an introductory text by Antonia Shaw which contextualises the work within an artistic discourse.
This project is supported by Arts Council England and The Warburg Institute.