welcome

The Swedenborg Society is a publisher, library, events space, museum, bookshop and registered charity. In addition to organizing events, lectures, conferences, exhibitions, performances and film screenings, we also publish a large selection of literature relating to the work of the philosopher, scientist, inventor, astronomer, mathematician, parliamentary figure and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). The Society's Grade II listed premises in Bloomsbury, central London, is also available for private hire. For free updates on our events and publications please join our e-newsletter mailing list

Charity registration number: 209172

Susan Hiller: Lost and Found

Installation Screening

Installation Screening | Monday and Tuesday 26-27 November 2018 | 10.00 am to 5.00 pm | Swedenborg Hall, Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH | FREE ADMISSION

The UK premiere of Susan Hiller's work Lost and Found was staged as part of the Swedenborg Film Festival 2018. We are delighted to say that the installation at Swedenborg Hall will remain open to the public for a further two days 26-27 November 2018, screening continuously between 10.00 am - 5.00 pm.

Lost and Found (2016, 30 mins, UK premiere)

Shown at documenta 14,Lost and Found is a continuous soundtrack of people speaking 23 extinct, endangered and revived languages, translated and subtitled, with a continuous oscilloscopic representation of the sound waves of each language as spoken. With a multimedia practice extending over 40 years, Susan Hiller is one of the most influential artists of her generation. Since first making innovative use of audio and visual technology in the early 1980s, her groundbreaking installations, multi-screen video and audio works have achieved international recognition. Each of Hiller’s works is based on specific cultural artefacts from our society, which she uses as basic materials. Many pieces explore the liminality of certain phenomena including the practice of automatic writing (Sisters of Menon, 1972-9), near-death experiences (Channels, 2013), and collective experiences of unconscious, subconscious and paranormal activity (Belshazzar’s Feast, 1983-4;Psi Girls, 1999;Witness, 2000). Hiller’s powerful and resonant films range from theJ Street Project(2002-05), a chillingly extensive search for every street sign in Germany bearing the wordJuden(Jew), toThe Last Silent Movie(2007-8), which also documents disappearance and absence, although this time through speech recordings of dying or extinct languages. Her psychologically charged and thematically varied practice amounts to an impassioned plea for the joys and mysteries associated with irrationality.

Susan Hiller was born in 1940 in Tallahassee, Florida, and has been based mainly in London since the early 1960s. After studying film and photography at The Cooper Union and archaeology and linguistics at Hunter College in New York, Hiller went on to a National Science Foundation fellowship in anthropology at Tulane University in New Orleans. Her work features in numerous international private and public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and the Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil. Her career has been recognized by survey exhibitions at the ICA, London (1986); ICA, Philadelphia (1998); Museu Serralves, Porto (2004); Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2006); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007); and, most recently by, a major retrospective exhibition at Tate Britain (2011).

Swedenborg Film Festival 2018

Winners Announced!

24 November 2018 | 6.00-9.00 pm | Swedenborg House, The Swedenborg Society, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH | FREE

We are delighted to announce that the 2018 Swedenborg Film Festival Winners, chosen by guest judge Susan Hiller are: Oona Grimes (u.e u.), Alkaios Spyrou (Anina) and Andrew Kötting (Their rancid words stagnate our ponds)!

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE WINNING FILM MAKERS HERE

Chosen from an open call for submissions, this year’s featured artists were: Jonathan Bryant CrawfordMartin Del CarpioJames EdmondsKeira GreeneOona GrimesAtobe HiroshiAndrew KöttingMox MäkeläDiane NerwenJames Norton, Louiza NtourouJulian OlariuAnnette PhiloJon RatiganVictoria SkogsbergAlcaeus SpyrouJohn SmithJohn StruttonHuangzhi Tang and Sharon Whooley. Films will span screenings in Swedenborg Hall and installations throughout the grade-II-listed Swedenborg House, ‘one of London’s most atmospheric venues’ (Guardian).

The Swedenborg Film Festival returns on 24 November with special guest judge, the artist Susan Hiller. Featuring 20 new short films by international artists, alongside a special screening of Hiller’s work, the SFF is co-curated by Gareth Evans (Whitechapel Gallery) and Nora Foster (Frieze). Selected films will explore this year’s theme of 'Correspondences' – symbols, metaphor and hidden meanings – and screenings will take place at Swedenborg House in Bloomsbury.

New book out now

An Evening of Dreams

by Homero Aridjis, Eva Hoffman, Darian Leader, Tom McCarthy and Selina Mills.

with an introduction by Chloe Aridjis.

Originating in a memorable and discursive evening held at Swedenborg House in October 2015, and inspired by Swedenborg’s private journal of dreams written between 1743-4, An Evening of Dreams brings together six major authors to examine the role of dreams and dreaming in their practice. The volume begins with a discussion of the relation between dreaming and poetry, and is followed, via a broad range of literary themes and approaches, by talks on dreaming and language, dream interpretation and psychoanalysis, dreaming as a literary space and dreaming and blindness.

order your copy here

Arcana Caelestia Reading Group

Thursday 29 November 2018 | 6.00 - 8.00 pm | Gardiner Room, Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH | FREE | Last Thursday of every month

Next Meeting: 29 November 2018

Following on from our seminar series staged over the last year on 'Swedenborg, Literature and the Imaginal' (with Dr William Rowlandson) and on 'The Anatomy of Heaven' (with Dr David Lister), we will be holding a monthly reading group centring on Swedenborg's magnum opus Arcana Caelestia.

The Arcana can be seen as a foundation for all of Swedenborg's later visionary works, including Heaven and Hell and Divine Love and Wisdom. It contains Swedenborg's clause-by-clause elucidation of the spiritual meaning in the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus, as well as descriptions of an incredible variety of his own spiritual experiences. It exists in English as a 12-volume set (translated by John Elliott) and is available to order online or at the Swedenborg House Bookshop.

Volume one will be available for free for those who register in advance.

Newcomers welcome

Book here.

volunteers needed

Would you like to volunteer for the Swedenborg Society? We are currently looking for people who might like to help invigilate our bookshop during weekdays and also help out during our busy events programme. Previous experience is not needed. The Society’s beautiful oak-lined shop is in the middle of Bloomsbury, London. It is close to the British Museum and only five minutes walk from Covent Garden and Leicester Square. If you are interested in volunteering or interning, please do not hesitate to contact us via admin@swedenborg.org.uk or 0207 405 7986.