Listen to a panel discussion about the exhibition, which happened at UNTITLED, SF, 2018.
“The origins of the Tarot are so veiled in the mists of time that it is only natural for myths and legends to surround it. Superstition, flights of fancy, and speculation have added their own patterns to the rich and colorful tapestry of Tarot lore and have only deepened its aura of magic and mystery. Cults have grown up around one or another historical theory, and sometimes their adherents have become fanatical in proclaiming the one and only “truth.” But the better-informed investigators retain a certain amount of flexibility—even skepticism—and make no ironclad assertions.
The truest claim we can make is that the Tarot is a symbolic record of human experience.”
The earliest tarot cards that survive today were used as playing cards by Italian nobles in the late 14th century. It wasn’t until the 19th century, when French occultists connected tarot imagery back to ancient Egypt, that the cards became used for divination. The Rider Waite Smith deck, which debuted in 1909, was the first deck to be mass-produced in English and remains the most popular today. It was intended for fortune telling rather than gameplay and is the deck on which Wang and Marple base their cards. Wang’s deck, Crystal Clear Tarot, defies the interpretative tradition of tarot through its inclusion of unambiguous and satirical text. Marple’s deck, Art World Tarot, features a network of art world compatriots within a world of minimal, black and white symbolism. The exhibition at Ever Gold [Projects] will feature drawings and paintings from each artist’s seventy-eight card deck.