Adam Lehrer, "Communions" (Hyperidean Press, 2021)

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[This episode contains explicit content.] Artists from Kurt Cobain to Amy Winehouse command fascination not only for their work but also for their drug addictions and the manner of their death. Communions is an attempt to understand the role that opiates play in the artistic lives of those who are gripped by addiction.

Channeling hallucinated versions of dead artists and junkies, these fragments access the uncanny allure of shared experience. Elements of speculative fiction, criticism and encrypted auto-biography merge to form a disconcerting portrait of the artist as addict. Neither denunciation nor valorization, Communions probes the haunting singularity of opiate addiction and its ineradicable influence on art and culture.

Adam Lehrer speaks to Pierre d'Alancaisez about addiction and class, our fetish for the artist flirting with death, communing with his heroes, his experience of the opioid crisis, and the role for art criticism in unraveling these issues. Lehrer reads a chapter on Darby Crash from Communions.

Adam Lehrer is a writer and art critic, but he’s also a former heroin addict himself. He blogs at Safety Propaganda.

Pierre d’Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional.

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340 episodes