Go Now: Intellectual Barbarians—the Kibbo Kift Kindred at Whitechapel

The Whitechapel Gallery in London currently has a teensy show full of great intention on a mostly forgotten sect of British exotics and esoterics who called themselves the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift. These oddballs, led by artist and thinker John Hargraves, operated in the English countryside from the 1920’s onwards spending soujourns together in the great outdoors, doing sports, playing games of their own invention, wearing hand-made outlandish outfits, walking around with hand-carved staffs, writing their own lore with accompanying William Morris-like illustrations, and generally hanging out like teenagers at art summer camp. In this age of total connectivity, there’s something incredibly desirable about what this secular sect was after, which was a connection with nature, play, and community. The archival material in the show is fascinating and includes photographs, hand-made medals, costumes, and their code itself, and much of it is collected in the exhibition’s accompanying book published by the very cool new East London imprint Donlon Books. This show may just be a call to action. Through March 16