HENDRICK'S CONGRESS FOR CURIOUS PEOPLE
Hendrick's Congress for Curious People is a cultural week dedicated to the most unusual locations and stories in cities such as New York, London, Barcelona or Madrid. Hendrick's Congress for Curious People is a branch of the "Congress of Curious People", a ten-day cycle of conferences and performances in Coney Island, New York. The first Congress is an original idea conceived by Aaron Beebe and Dick Zigun, active since 2007. Since 2011, the Congress has been a co-production between the Coney Island Museum and the Morbid Anatomy Museum by Joanna Ebenstein, one of the most spectacular websites dedicated to medicine, death, art and culture.
In our first edition (Barcelona, February 2014) we paid our tribute to the history of Carnival and Barcelona in the Age of the Enlightenment. The first tour was focused on the history of science and medicine between the 15th and 18th centuries (visiting our fabulous anatomical amphitheater). Our second tour was a unique opportunity to visit he bunker of the former embassy of the Soviet Union in Avenida Tibidabo. "The hidden side of Gracia" was an itinerary which explored the history and curiosities of this old Barcelona town, including a visit to the garden of Casa Vicens. During that same night, we celebrated the "Noir Masquerade", a Carnival Gala at the "Atelier de la Muerte Negra", a funerary art house-museum. On the weekend, we were able to discover freemasonry in Barcelona during the 18th and 19th centuries, including a commented visit to a freemason lodge, the Athenaeum Minerva. The great celebration gala was the "Surrealist Dinner", an invitation to enjoy a banquet in the former taxidermy store in Plaza Real, one of Salvador Dalí's favorite shops in Barcelona. Finally, the last event on our Congress was "The libertine Barcelona", a theatrical tour following the adventures of Giacomo Casanova in 1768 including a conference on art and eroticism and a cocktail at the Gomis Palace.
On our Barcelona edition, our most important collaborators were Joanna Ebenstein, Aaron Beebe, Isabel Capdevila, Angel Trullen, Lady Bon Bon, Núria Viladevall and Joan Josa, Enric March, José Pardo, Albert Galderich, Alba del Pozo, Alfonso Zarzoso and Laura Valls.
Our second Hendrick's Congress for Curious People took place in Madrid in February 2016. We enjoyed a splendid cycle of events, including activities such as the tours "Freemason Madrid" and "Baroque Madrid", and exclusive visits to museums of natural sciences, medicine and anatomy with Morbid Anatomy. We held a lecture on the world of curiosities by Dylan Thuras (Atlas Obscura), Servando Rocha (La Felguera) and Joanna Ebenstein (Morbid Anatomy) at the San José Homeopathic Hospital. This edition of the Congress was truly spectacular, with an intimate night of mentalism by Pablo Raijenstein and a great Carnival gala at the Duarte palace, the "Surrealist Ball", with Kriminal Kabarett on stage.
The third edition of the Hendrick’s Congress for Curious People took place in Barcelona in October 2016, after the great success of the event in Madrid. We proposed a more extravagant trip to Barcelona, between the memorable era of modernism and the crazy years of art déco. On this occasion, we evoked the world of performing arts at that time paying our tribute to Oleguer Junyent, the multifaceted artist who contributed to the decoration of institutions such as the Círculo del Liceo. We celebrated a modernist cocktail with mentalism, opera and dance performances in its extraordinary atelier in Gracia. Besides this, we organized two tours: one on the golden age of the Parallel avenue and another on the influence of Wagner and Germany in Barcelona. Many of our activities were focused on topics such as medicine and natural history, fine arts, and Barcelona citizens private lives in the past. Thus, held exclusive tours in the monumental hospital complex of Santa Creu and Sant Pau hospital, the original spaces of the 1929 International Exhibition and the Palau Nacional in Montjuïc and a circuit through LGBT history characters in Barcelona. Finally, celebrated our "Samhain" or "Halloween" festivity on our tour through the most supernatural and funerary Barcelona, culminating in a nocturnal ascent to the mysterious gothic bell tower of Santa María del Pi. In this edition, our most important collaborators were Isabel Capdevila, Angel Trullen, Enric March, Meritxell Carreres, Silvia de Blas, Sabine Armengol, Michelle Francis Cook, Agustí Giralt, Miquel Carandell and the Círculo del Liceo.