A letter from a client Lucy Sinclair
When I first saw the sleight of hand artistry and mind illusion of James David Parker, I found myself in front of work that was not a mere trick (or the simple technical execution of a sleight), but that, rather, was the result of a creative experience aimed at enabling a new perception for the audience.
We are used to considering magic in terms of different styles and approaches – on the one hand, the magician who performs with a serious and enigmatic persona, on the other hand, the magician who uses humour and charm to engage the audience.
Looking at James David Parker’s work, I had a unique sensation of wonder. It was a performance that left me not only amazed but also without explanation, so that I couldn’t rely on my analytical skills as a seasoned magic critic! I believe that magic should always be a surprise. It must create, even in the critic, not just amazement, but a sense of uncertainty. When one experiences James David Parker’s magic, it’s easy to recognize the traditional elements of magic – misdirection, illusion, and psychology – but, in the end, the final effect is always unexpected.
With James David Parker’s work, I didn’t simply find myself in front of a new style of magic, but rather in front of performances that opened up a new realm of possibility. James David Parker’s magic constitutes an experience that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of magic. It doesn’t belong either to the world of traditional magic tricks or to a modern take on the art of illusion.
The magic in James David Parker’s work is, rather, a synthesis of technique and psychology, of classic and modern approaches. It is an attempt to bring to the audience the experience of its creative process. Within each performance, every element contributes to the transition to the next. So there is an expression of creativity, of imagination, of originality. It is an energy, a vibe that radiates and pervades the atmosphere of the performance.
It is interesting to see James David Parker’s work visually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is a performance that attempts to communicate reality both as technique and as psychology. As Arthur C. Clarke said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” James David Parker uses traditional and modern techniques, but in terms of perception. The performances are a path of experience, of contemplative engagement, for the audience.
The art of magic is always linked to myth and culture – the stories of King Arthur, the mythology of ancient Egypt, the legends of Merlin – whereas the magic created by James David Parker paradoxically communicates psychology in a language immersed in real life. This language of like real magic is not a superficial language – rather, it could be said it is a language that, through its surface, acquires its depth.
Details are very important in James David Parker’s work. The performance cannot be taken in with just one glance, like a glimpse. Every performance needs to be experienced, to be entered into, as a journey of the mind. James David Parker’s magic, through wonder, is purposed to connecting the audience with an actuality of magic.
James David Parker depicts the state of things. But for “thing” I do not mean a static object or an inert element, but “thing” as condition that no longer has any limitations, but that connects to whoever experiences it – the audience, the world, humanity. So James David Parker’s magical realism is a form of neo-humanism that wants to develop a relationship with magic with a very vast public as a starting point. The elements of his performance, whether classic or modern, was utterly wonderous and awe inspiring.