Norman Hogg is a Scottish artist, writer, and curator. He holds a BA in Sculpture and an MFA in Visual Culture from Edinburgh College of Art, plus an MA in Combined Media from Chelsea College of Art, London. He has been selected for New Work UK (1999), New Work Scotland (2010) and from 2008 to 2009 was a director of the Embassy gallery in Edinburgh. Together with Neil Mulholland, he is the co-founder of the Confraternity of Neoflagellants who in 2013 published their first theory-fictional book thN Lng folk 2go: Investigating Future Premoderns™ (Punctum Books, NYC). He is currently a Joseph-Armand Bombardier awarded doctoral candidate at Concordia University where he researches neomedievalism with particular focus on non/human ritual, accelerated medievalisms and neomedieval aesthetics.
Neomedievalism unpacks the processes by which modern Western society simultaneously validates and refutes its political, social and cultural foundations through the continual reconstruction of a medieval Other. It is not an apocalyptic prophecy of a ‘new dark age’ but works against the dialectics of ‘the return’ by proposing that the medieval is always already pleated through the modern and thus co-constitutive of its fundamentally nostalgic and self-reflexive identity. Somewhat paradoxically then, neomedievalism disassembles the ‘medieval’ itself, dissolving the hard-baked telos of periodization and releasing a multiplicity of rogue ‘nows’ into the wild.
Correspondingly, neomedievalism describes the acetic-ludic pursuit of a concrete aesthetic practice that does not (like modern art say) center the subject as sole assembler, virtuoso conductor and final aesthetic judge of matter. To this end, the medieval cosmology is harnessed as a sensual hyper-economy of translatio—the processual rituals through which all things, inscribed or enfleshed, animal, vegetable or mineral, interact and translate each other sense for sense. The ‘aesthetic pontifex’ (divine bridge-maker) is the engine of the translative process—a crucible of humilitas that redistributes the sensible through the pragmatic downscaling of the human on the scala naturae of the sensorium. Accordingly, neomedievalism jettisons its onto-theological boosters while kicking its non/human ritual machinery into overdrive.
Hogg’s time is spent entombed in his anchorhold in Montreal’s underground marketplace, spilling fortified wine over unreadable codexes while completing infinite power cycles on a Bowflex Revolution® Home Gym.
www.normanhogg.com (under maintenance till Jan 2015)