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Surreal Thursday: Ghosts in The Abstract Art Gallery

Ghost in The Abstract Art Gallery MT

This Surreal Thursday we investigate the reports of The Ghosts in The Abstract Art Gallery. The paintings and other art pieces are said to be very haunting, in the aesthetic, emotional & intellectual sense, but many have declared that there is something else at play amongst the displays.

Ghostly figures are reported to walk the halls. Shadowy forms are glimpsed silently admiring the art. Wisps of flickering light seen out of the corner of the eye mingle with other visitors to the gallery, or so it has been claimed.


Ghost in The Abstract Art Gallery

…………… I think that ghosts occupy a primary — and primal —place among the roster of supernatural creatures because 1) they are a permutation of the soul, not the body and thus 2) can be seen not as a perversion of a human but in some cases as its high metaphysical form. They are not always scary, in other words, but are actually conceived of often as being full of grief and emotional longing, an inability to move on—I think that makes them feel both relatable and almost tragic. And in general our obsession with post-death forms (zombies, vampires, ghosts) stems from our innate drive to understand death, to deal with bodily decay and spiritual ascension, to imagine ourselves as continuing. – Lauren Oliver, author of Rooms

Ghost in The Abstract Art Gallery 2gh MT

What are we to make of these accounts ? The gallery itself is a classic mix of contemporary and old architecture – The 21st century twisting around the remnants of the late 19th, like a snake having devoured its prey, now slowly digesting its still living remains.

Could such emotional and cultural conflict churn up real or imagined spectral activities ? Does the surreal modern abstractions conjured up by the metamorphosing structure combine with the works on display to open up the mind’s eye to other realms and times ?

Some have said they have even seen figures moving in and out of the painting. Other visitors have asked gallery staff whether the works are a form of multimedia, since voices and other sounds have been faintly heard while contemplating the exhibits. The answer is no, perhaps the visual impact have stimulated the mind in a form of synesthesia reverie………


It has been suggested that nothing is truly ever lost or forgotten. It hangs suspend in a timeless aether waiting to be observed like Schrödinger’s cat.  ( For further clarification,  read the M. R. James narrative, Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come To You My Lad.

 Synesthetic number form. Richard E. Cytowic, from Cytowic & Eagleman (2009), "Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia." MIT Press

Synesthetic number form. Richard E. Cytowic, from Cytowic & Eagleman (2009), “Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia.” MIT Press

It has been speculated that the combination of the structure of the building and the creative endeavours presented there have created a harmonic resonance that opens the mind and perhaps the physical form to other dimensional states. Visitors have claimed to have lost time while exploring the venue – time slips that go beyond simply losing track of time. Some visitors and staff have found themselves lost among the exhibits. It is as if, like the fictional Tardis, the space within the building shifts and changes.

Ghost in The Abstract Art Gallery 3 MT

The accounts of actual disappearances are few and dubious. No foul play or evidence to unsavoury activity has ever been found. True a few visitors disappeared and one or two suffered a fugue and wandered off to be found at a later date.

Note: The incident involving the art critic was greatly exaggerated. It occurred during the wine and cheese gala and there was evidence that  bottled spirits were more likely the cause of the month long ramble than mischievous haunts. The bus load of tourist from Japan were all accounted for eventually . Stories to the contrary that are still circulating on the internet are all overblown hearsay and urban myth.

Ghost in The Abstract Art Gallery 4 MT

In conclusion, it is safe to say that the Abstract Art Gallery is not haunted. Visiting remains the same through the week , Tuesday to Saturday. Please remember, tickets are discounted on Surreal Thursdays and the gallery doors are promptly closed and locked at 6:00 p.m. on any visiting day. Due to staff contract conditions, the gallery does not open at the height of the full moon.


Movement in abstract

shapes the mind’s pathway, journey

to others’ lost dreams.


2 responses

  1. Suzanne

    Is it that the ghost of Kandinsky, the father of abstract art haunts the galleries of abstract art? I have certainly felt his presence when I have been painting abstractions.
    As for people getting lost in art – well that happens to me all the time too.
    The vanishing point in a powerful piece of art is fluid and prone to leading the viewer into abstracted states of reverie and, sometimes, deep soul healing.
    Your quote about the meaning behind the obsession with vampires etc. is really interesting and insightful.
    I like the way you pull so many thoughts and hyperlinks together into one post – particularly a post about the deeper aspects of abstract art. Art can transcend boundaries and take us into unexpected internal spaces – this post is proof of that. I enjoyed it a lot.

    February 21, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    • elmediat

      Not sure about a Kandinsky, but there is a Kanski wandering around. 😀

      I agree about the quotation. There is a huge difference between the ghosts and the other forms of supernatural entities. Ghosts represent the survival of emotions that are tethered to physical reality. Positively, they can represent love & protection, negatively they can stand for grief, loss, longing, anger and the desire for revenge.

      Vampires are all about death and sex. It seems intriguing to me that the late 20th century craze for Goth & vampires seemed to become more pronounced with the awareness of AIDS epidemic . Consider that the 3 touchstones, blood, sex, and death stand for both AIDS and the Vampiric troupes.

      The modern version the Zombie, the Walking Dead, is all about mindless virus that can overwhelm anyone, regardless of background. Its popularity seems to have grown as our fears of both actual viruses , computer viruses and the home grown terrorist viruses become more of a threat. We mythologize and symbolize all our hopes and fears through popular culture and mass media.

      As to the hyper-links, I always felt that using blogs a a creative outlet opened the door to a more expansive form of expression. Rather than trying to maintain the codes and conventions of linear printed text, we should try to embrace the multimedia and interconnectivity of digital text.

      Thanks so much for visiting & commenting. 🙂

      February 21, 2015 at 7:46 pm

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