Mystical Anarchism documents a collaborative project between artist Clodagh Emoe and philosopher Simon Critchley. At midnight on August 9th 2009, over one hundred people were brought to an undisclosed location – a clearing in a forest by the upper lake at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. The group gathered together on a large hand mat (measuring 17 m x 7m) to hear Simon Critchley’s intimate lecture Mystical Anarchism.
Mystical Anarchism focuses on the obscure thirteenth century Movement of the Free Spirit, paying particular attention to the mystic Marguerite Porete’s strange handbook, The Mirror of Simple and Annihilated Souls (and Who Remain Only in Wanting and Desire of Love). This book, that outlined the seven stages that the soul must pass through to bring about a transcendental encounter with divinity, led to her charge of heresy and execution in 1310. In describing the practices and activities of the Movement of the Free Spirit, Critchley outlines how this internalization of religious authority effectively circumvents the hierarchies of the Church and, by extrapolation, the state. By invoking the Movement of the Free Spirit, Critchley offers a consideration of socially bound exemplars of utopian communities.
Mystical Anarchism was filmed by: Thomas Mc Graw Lewis. Photography: Sean Breithaupt and Yvette Monahan. Special thanks to: Edia Connole, Yvette Monaghan, Sean Breithaupt, Thomas McGrath Lewis, Phil Kelly, Gearoid Carvell, Andrew Brady, Cormac Browne, Dan Carvell, Pat Murphy, Ciaran Curtain, Kathy Tynan, Danielle O’ Connell and Simon Keating, Mags Fitzgibbon, Justine Emoe, Audrey Emoe and Genny Carraro, GradCAM, DIT, and the individuals from the cultural, philosophical and wider community who accepted the invitation to be brought to an unknown location at midnight.