Human Rites
Bass Museum of Art
With: Emilio Chapela Pérez
June 25 - October 3, 2010
2121 park avenue (between 21st and 22nd streets),
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
USA

 

We eat food on our plates according to strict, but essentially meaningless patterns and rules.  We enter the mall parking lot the same way each time. We choose tables in restaurants always near the window, or always at the back, or always prefer a booth.  Athletes put on equipment and prepare for competition in highly organized and often strange rituals. Always the left skate first for a hockey player. Always hats at a specific angle during the World Series for baseball players. Superstition? We find peace in acts of seemingly mundane repetition; knitting, walking the identical route home from work each day. Like praying the rosary, each recitation explicitly identical, the words never changing, or like the breakfast table set the night before, knife and butter to the left, coffee ready to turn on, the truth is that our lives are full of rituals, habits, compulsions, and prayers that we are often completely unaware of but would be adrift without. Human Rites examines ritual both as a basic human activity, most clearly expressed historically and anthropologically in terms of religious practices, but will also look at the place of ritual in the practice of contemporary artists, either as the subject of their work, or the mode of their work. Religious ritual objects will be exhibited together with votive works by Janine Antoni, devotional polychrome statues of Mary from the 15th century engage with the work of Rirkrit Tiravanija. As a result, some visitors to this exhibition may leave with a heightened sense of the resilience of ritual in everything from the religious to the mundane, the deep and timeless need we have as humans for ritual, habit, repetition and pattern in our lives.  Others may leave the exhibition with the lines between religion, ritual, habit and pattern blurred, no longer able to see any difference between artists and priests, between the studio and the mosque. Curated by Silvia Karman Cubiñá, Bass Museum of Art Executive Director and Chief Curator, and Steve Holmes, Adjunct Curator, Bass Museum of Art. This exhibition is the second of three exhibitions in The Endless Renaissance Project at the Bass Museum, that began with the exhibition The Endless Renaissance in 2009 and will conclude with a publication in 2011.

 

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