Pure magic!

Hello my lovelies! I hope you are well! I have fantastic news for you, as we finally found a place to rent that looks absolutely stunning! It’s simply gorgeous! On the third floor, it has a fantastic view of the courtyard and close to where I’m currently living, it is the absolute best! I fell in love with it when we first went to view it, but now I am overwhelmingly happy! On another news, the London Greek Film Festival will be starting in a week’s time. I have been volunteering for the past five years and I am so excited that the time has arrived! I have missed the whole experience, and if you want to take part in it, you are more than welcome to join all the screenings at Theatro Technis in Mornington Crescent.

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So, news aside, this week was a busy one for me. However, I do not regret it even for a moment! I do think though that the best part of it was that I was able to visit an exhibition in central London, called “Smoke and Mirrors: The psychology of magic”. It is a very interesting and thought-provoking exhibition, held at the Wellcome Collection, literally five minutes from Euston Station in central London. When I first arrived, around 7 in the evening, the queue was out of this world! I had to wait almost twenty minutes to get inside, but once I got in, it was amazing!

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This exhibition is sitting on three avenues; spiritualism, psychology and the physical world. All magicians are creating illusions, that play with people’s minds. That’s the principle of “magic” and not the popular Harry Potter version with wands and flying broomsticks. And if you wonder how psychology comes into play, this is the way; magicians will manipulate your attention and make you believe something that is not true. By studying human behaviour, a psychologist/magician will be able to make you believe and trust your senses, even if they are mistaken. This power of suggestion and self-suggestion will eventually lead to the fact that human senses cannot be trusted.

Illusions, deception and the power of suggestion play an important role in this exhibition, but this is not all. Smoke and Mirrors contains an eclectic collection of items, from the times of Houdini, like the poster about him from the early 20th century, to board games and lessons in magic, which I found extremely fascinating. I think though that the exhibit that gained my attention was in the last room, about Mentalism, and it was a drawing that connected magic, the UK and US film production and technology corporations. If you wonder what can connect Queen Elisabeth I, Metro Goldwyn Mayer and the Stargate film and Grigory Rasputin, have a look on the below and let me know!

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Apart from the exhibition, there was also a performance at 19.30 by Dr. Matthew Tompkins. He is a magician/experimental psychologist, and his performance was lively and fun! It may sound like the opposites, but indeed magic and psychology as a science are connected with human perception and suggestion being at the centre of it all! But it wasn’t all about dry science speak; he also did some tricks or whatever you want to call them, that proved actually that our senses cannot be trusted. After that, bring me all the David Copperfields of the world, I am ready to be dazzled!

While as children we are ready to believe the unbelievable, as adults we have a completely different position, as we tend to find logical explanations. However that doesn’t mean that magicians and illusionists are not able to confuse our senses, as the power of suggestion belies people! Still though, in this exhibition it is wonderful to see several magical objects and the progression of illusion and magic from the 1920s until very recently. And that I found most fascinating there!

Overall, I think the Smoke and Mirrors exhibition at the Wellcome Collection is a fantastic opportunity to see and experience things that you wouldn’t be able to do before. This extensive take in all things magic will definitely make your day. Just a word of caution though; you should expect spending there at least over an hour for you to get the most enjoyment out of it. It is something different to what other museums and galleries offer in London and something that will tease your senses. Until the 15th September you will definitely have time to visit!

Till next time,

Sofia-Maria

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