Work In Progress


My process will be exploring the escapology of Houdini from his infamous ‘escape or die’ trick, ‘The Chinese Water Torture Cell’ or as Houdini called it the ‘Upside Down.’ Ironically Houdini wanted to disbar ‘spiritualists,’ whilst simultaneously engorging the art of illusion, without revealing the ‘process’ of magic and illusion. I want to sweep away the curtain shrouding the process of his ‘tricks,’ ones he hid behind a screen, whilst retaining the magic of Houdini’s craftsmanship, science and cunning behind the curtain.

Aesthetically I will communicate my process through appropriating and modernising Houdini posters, inspired by Art Noveau and Art Deco movements. My infographic will be inspired by color blocking, streamlined movement, geometric and askew shapes, cross-sections, fragmented figures. I want to focus on two processes

  1. The process and ritualism of illusion, tricking the audience to suspend their disbelief (in front of the curtain).
  2. The process of the technical escape from the UPI, (behind the curtain).

One is a psychological process, the other a practical step by step process of escapology. I want to emphasize that two ‘truths’ can coexist simultaneously, neither one has preferential treatment in its access to the kernel of the real. I want to communicate that the two processes above are both rituals practiced and repetitively performed to become almost like a spiritual mantra, despite Houdini’s cynicism on ‘spiritualism’.  I want to pair a story of magic, madness and two the fold nature of invention as creativity and fabrication, with the processes.


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