Temple Exercises

If you're in Chicago...plan to see this exhibition.

sorry i missed the opening last night which has gotten rave reviews...but i have 3 of the other events in my calendar on the 10th,13th and 26th in my calendar.

Theaster Gates' Temple Exercises is a series of exercises that occur both at the MCA and around the city. Exploring the relationships among art, politics, and race, Theaster Gates constructs a temple-like structure that merges aspects of African-American and Japanese traditions. Gates's construction also serves as a contemplative space meant to inspire dialogue across philosophical and cultural boundaries on topics ranging from politics and religion to culture, food, and art as well as a performative space for the Black Monks, a group of Baptist-Buddhist musicians who mix slave spirituals, monastic chants, and jazz to create a singular sonorous experience. The exhibition is curated by Tricia Van Eck at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Theaster's work (both performance and the tactical artifact) is especially interesting to me, having grown up both Buddhist and Black, i've often internally speculated on whether those experiences are completely parallel or if/how they intersect.

*update* (after seeing the saturday afternoon performance at little black pearl i was really stunned. he and the 'black monks of mississipi' created a meditative and spiritual experience the likes of which i literally have ONLY experienced in a place of worship...it was truly something that both defied one religious tradition and also felt deeply related to many. the shoe shine...talked about power and priveledge and struggle and humility and pride, unrecognized and undervalued talents, artforms, people...just so, so much... this work reinforced for me, art as a way of knowing...along with the power and poetry of collaborative work and the intermingling of disciplines. theaster is a profound individual...i am thankful for his work, ecstatic for his success and i look forward to watching his progress.


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