CENTRO CULTURAL DE LA RAZA, SAN DIEGO, 1993
CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, 1994
This work is based on reminiscence of experiences in the Latino church of my youth. The ceremony of this religious space formed my early perceptions about the world. In later years, I found myself immersed in the study and philosophy of religion. Numerous viewpoints were studied. In particular Buddhism fascinated me because of it’s exquisite logic based on transformative experience, an experience that extinguished linguistic oppositions and barriers. These methods were also echoed in some mystical forms of Christianity. This allowed me to look at my education as a Christian differently.
The structure of Christianity, developed through the incorporation of a platform of Platonic philosophy has characteristically cleaved the “field” of experience into exclusive polarities, a universe where God, the ONE forged the MANY ex nihilo (out of nothing). These associations begin a complex of “crossed” conceptions, ones aligned with the spirit and others with the earthly realm. Unlike Anglicized Catholicism, the New World form “plays” with these concepts, inverts them in a raucous celebration of the spirit through the flesh, and through death, life.
The center piece of this installation is the play of Latin, Spanish and English exclusive and relational opposites. These words are projected via two slide projectors. Through the use of an electronic control unit, words dissolve into one another, from the vertical (spiritual) to the horizontal (earthly); at moments these words cross one another to form a composite meaning.
The installation is laid out axially, with points of dynamism representing a cross. Thus the viewer crosses this space physically. Above and behind the center of the space is a spinning speaker with heavenly voices. At the center to the left are displays of flowers and to the right, a sequestered room with a spinning table; Old Testament, New Testament. Midway, a pedestal with candles. Within this structure is the electronic equipment that projects the text on the far wall. Interposed in this space, an inverted “horn” hangs above, and on the floor the New World staple of corn.
Images wander among the metaphors between salvation, loss, the hallowed and violated ground between flesh and spirit. These antipodes have become the structure of our way of thinking. Virtually all discussions whether secular, political, or academically religious have grappled with this structure in order to describe reality. Yet there must be a territory that we cannot conceive of, given our map to world we have learned.