Joachim Koester

The Abbey of Thelema #2

The Abbey of Thelema #2 by Joachim Koester

Artwork Detail

This full set of 10 photographs centres around Joachim Koester’s exploration of cult leader Aleister Crowley and his occupation of the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalù, Sicily. Crowley and a small group of devotees lived in Cefalù in the early 1920s.

They lived in bleak conditions, aspiring to an ideal life via Crowley’s doctrine of hedonism, magic, drugs and sexual rites. Koester’s photographic documentation reveals what remains of the house today. He says, ‘Most human activities leave traces in space. In one way or another, spaces are transformed by human action, and in my work I am, if you like, ghost-haunting spaces.’

The Abbey of Thelema #2
Joachim Koester
Production date
C-type print
475 x 603 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2007
Accession no
Other ID
X2007/9/2.1-10 Old Accession Number
Copying restrictions apply
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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