Marco Pasi specialises in the history of hermetic philosophy and related currents. On 11 February, he will deliver a lecture in Sonneveld House on the connection between theosophy and modernism in relation to the intervention by Mexican architect and artist Santiago Borja in Sonneveld House. This will be followed by a talk by Borja about his work entitled A Mental Image - Blavatsky Observatory.
Santiago Borja builds an observatory on the roof of Sonneveld House, which is on view from 13 February to 22 May 2016. This space for quiet reflection is devoted to Madame Blavatsky, co-founder of the Theosophical Society. The connection that Borja makes between theosophy and architecture relates to the history of Sonneveld House. Brinkman & Van der Vlugt, the architects of Sonneveld House, came into contact with theosophy through Kees van der Leeuw, one of the of the directors of the Van Nelle factory. He was an active member of the Theosophical Society and commissioned Brinkman & Van der Vlugt to design the Society’s meeting room in Amsterdam, among other projects.
Artist and architect Santiago Borja (1970, Mexico) works on the boundary between art, architecture and anthropology. He has recently made works for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Mies van der Rohe pavilion in Barcelona and the VDL Research House in Los Angeles. He has built a silo-shaped pavilion, made from straw using the techniques of the Mayans, alongside Le Corbusier’s iconic Villa Savoye. Borja’s intervention in Sonneveld House is part of a series organised by guest curator Erich Weiss.
Marco Pasi is Associate Professor of the History of Hermetic Philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include the relationship between modern esotericism, art and politics and the history of the idea of magic. He is a board member of the European Society fort he Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE).
Location: Sonneveld House
Start programme: 8.00 pm
Entrance fee: 7,50 (regular) or 3,75 (Students and Friends of Het Nieuwe Instituut)