The Embassy, Roxy Art House, 
2 Roxburgh Place, 
Edinburgh EH8 9SU


19.06.10 – 11.07.10


The relentless association, from the Renaissance onwards, of the Middle Ages with the ‘hypereconomy’ of the gift, with whatever exceeds calculation or rationality, for good or for ill, has made the Middle Ages a marker of fantasy and excess (…), a figure of the unnecessary and the extraordinary. Louise Fradenburg, 1997



Atilliator Plastique Fantastique – Burgage in London and Birmingham. www.plastiquefantastique.org


Doctor Mirabilis Torsten Lauschmann – Bad Soden, Germany, 1970. Wapentake Glasgow. www.lauschmann.com


Angry Penguin David Osbaldeston – Middlesbrough, 1968. Riding in Manchester. www.mattsgallery.org/artists/osbaldeston/home.php


Head Fatrasist Alex Pollard – Brighton, 1977. Hide in Glasgow. www.sorchadallas.com/artists/6


Almoner Andro Semeiko – Ozurgeti, Georgia, 1975. Knight’s fee London. www.androsemeiko.com


Falconer General Ewan Sinclair – Burgh Edinburgh. www.ewansinclair.co.uk


Neoflagellant without portfolio Eddo Stern – Tel Aviv, 1972. Rape of San Francisco. www.eddostern.com


Witch with HP-50 Emma Tolmie – Lathe Edinburgh. www.emmatolmie.co.uk




‘Avalon’ is the first curatorial investigation into premodern futurity by The Confraternity of Neoflagellants – lay peoples dedicated to the ascetic application, dissemination and treatment of neomedievalism in contemporary culture. Borne of the new irrationalism of zombie capitalism, they are attuned to the scent of medieval in the creative commons, in the folkmote, the plateau of middle, in the unbundled territoriality of post-post-industrialism.

Neomedievalism embraces the spectral traces or ‘uncertain knowledges’ of its historical past as part of an ever-morphing, force-feedback simulation, (or permanent rehearsal) of coming events. The longing for a future assembled from a bricolage of pre-modern components embeds itself deeper with every advance in the technologies of representation. The fantasy must become ever closer to reality.

This investigation specifically augments The Embassy’s residency within the bell tower and crypt of the Baronial Revival Roxburgh Church. The Confraternity have drawn upon the scholastic symbolism of Dante Alighieri’s Commedia – the principle map of dualistic medieval cosmology and a mythology important to the hacker intelligentsia of early Internet development communities – to codify the ecclesiastical space according to neomedieval gaming principles of grinding and leveling-up common in the ‘beige age of swords and circuitry’, the nerdosphere of MUD’s and MMORPG.

The neomedieval dislocates from other historical medievalisms (and the very practice of linear historicism) via its engagement with the present and its hypostasisation of the Middle Ages either as deep-rooted, disembodied fantasy of excess, or as a disembodied textual resource that may be freely engaged. But, if neomedievalism allows us to speak to the medieval within us and imagine our futures through a medieval lens, it also functions as an actual return to the social, political and cultural conditions of Medieval Europe.

This sense of insecurity reflects the fact that the provision of security itself as a public good – the very raison d’être of the states system – can no longer be guaranteed by that system. – Phillip Cerny

And so we begin our Gnostic cycle of the Ouroboros…

In conjunction with The Embassy, Edinburgh Annuale, Edinburgh College of Art and Central Station, a collaborative codex of rhizomic illumination – Umberto Eco’s ‘fantastic neomedievalism’ in the ‘sword and sorcery’ model of story-telling, popularised by pulp author Robert E. Howard in the 1930s – has been made available in the free manuscript ‘Avalon, Book II’.

Additionally, at 3pm on the 28th June, the Confraternity will mount the Roxburgh Kirk pulpit to expound further irrationalisms.

Cartography of The Tower:

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi chintrate – Dante

1st Circle, Limbo:

Ewan Sinclair and Emma Tolmie Modified Knights: Crusaders of the Cosmic Forge (2010). Looped DVD and Mixed Media.

2nd Circle, The Lustful:

Ewan Sinclair and Emma Tolmie Modified Knights: Crusaders of the Cosmic Forge (2010). Looped DVD and Mixed Media.

3rd Circle, The Gluttonous:

Ewan Sinclair and Emma Tolmie Modified Knights: Crusaders of the Cosmic Forge (2010). Looped DVD.

4th Circle, Avarice and Prodigality:

Eddo Stern Best…flame war ..Ever: Leegattenby King of Bards v. Squire Rex, (2007), QuickTime Movie, 14:37mins.

5th Circle, The Wrathful and Sullen:

Andro Semeiko Secret (2010) Acrylic and Oil on Board, 120x50cm.

6th Circle, Heretics:

Portal to Jerusalem, Edinburgh Annuale 2010 Information Point

7th Circle, Violence:

Plastique Fantastique Plastique Fantastique Inversion Cone (2010). Assemblage.

8th Circle, Malebolge:

Plastique Fantastique Plastique Fantastique Diagram of the Plague Bacterium: Welcome Cunverse – Negative (2010). Glitter, variable dimensions.

9th Circle, Giant’s Well:

Plastique Fantastique Plastique Fantastique Cunverse: Welcome Run – T – Mo – Bile – Still – Ner (2010). Looped DVD.

The Empyrean:

In modernism, i.e., in evolutionary thought, man stands at the top of a stair whose foot is lost in obscurity; in medieval though he stands at the bottom of a stair whose top is invisible with light. – C.S. Lewis

David Osbaldeston Another Shadow Fight (2008). Digital prints in Vorticist mannerism originated from woodcuts based on Sidney Noland’s Ned Kelly series (1946-7). Newspaper kiosk design by Herbert Bayer, 1924 (unrealised). Variable dimensions. 3rd installation.

Andro Semeiko Unveiling Model of Rocket MT2010 (2010) Acrylic and Oil on Board, 195x125cm.

Alex Pollard Chrome Poulaine (2010) Bespoke training shoe, made in Italy.

Alex Pollard Dandy Outlaws Gesturing by a Falling Tree (Night Vision) (2009) Oil on Canvas, 145cm x 155cm.

Torsten Lauschmann Parlez-Vous Hollywood? (2010), DVD, 5mins

Andro Semeiko Tea Break (2010), Acrylic and Oil on Board, 30x55cm.

The Confraternity would like to give thanks to the artists, The Embassy Directors, Edinburgh College of Art, Central Station, Edinburgh University Settlement, Roxy Art House, Sorcha Dallas, Laing Art Gallery, Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, Laura Edbrook, Rocca Gutteridge, Little Moves, James Clegg, JJ Charlesworth, Thea Stevens and Emlyn Frith.

The Confraternity of Neoflagellants was founded in 2009 by Serjeant-At-Law Norman Hogg and joined by Keeper of the Wardrobe Neil Mulholland. It is a secular and equal opportunities confraternity bound by chirograph.

For further information and to join the Confraternity of Neoflagellants: