Sunday, July 29, 2012

Art Pilgrimage: Rituals and Sacred Spaces in the Czech Republic

by Drew Martin
If art serves as a kind of an alternative religion, then the journey to a museum, biennale, or any other art event is a kind of pilgrimage. At least, this is how I am approaching the show Rituals & Sacred Spaces that I am in, which opens August 1st at Galerie Califia, Horažd’ovice, Czech Republic. In addition to making shrine-like sculptures at the gallery, I will create a series of drawings while I am traveling, documenting my way from New Jersey to Germany and finally, the Czech Republic. The invitation explains:

The exhibition Rituals & Sacred Spaces is inspired by a collection of sacred, votive clay figures and terracotta collected from several places in Western India, from the Gujarat state, near the south Rajasthan border. In their raw simplicity, there is a purpose to their existence. They are used for a centuries-old Hindu ritual ceremony, and essentially sacred from their inception.The contemporary artists participating in this show explore religious ritual or attempt to create their own sacred space in the gallery and its nearby vicinity.

The show is curated by Tony Ozuna, who grew up in Los Angeles but has been living in the Czech Republic for more than twenty years. The other artists include Veronika Richterová and Jan Petránek from the Czech Republic, Alejandro Gomer de Tuddo from Mexico, and Natalia Vasquez from Colombia. There will also be work by the Czech art group Rafani and a special opening performance by Tereza Damcová.

Pictured here is a photograph I took of my neighbor's hands. The image is on the invitations for the show and will hang in the gallery as a large silk print.