Renacer Los Ancestros
Site specificity is important to my work. Ancient sites provide impetus for concepts I contemplate. The work, Renacer los Ancestros, gains inspiration from the roundness of the rotunda at Lehman College Art Gallery and transforms it into a temple-like space. It is a temple-like space without religion. The rotunda has a quality that is reminiscent of ancient sites because of its circular shape. Places such as Centro Ceremonial Indígena de Cagüana, Puerto Rico, and Temple of the Sun at Machu Picchu, Peru are two areas I have visited that come to mind. A circular form feels primordial, celestial and expansive as opposed to restrictive and angular. There is a sense of movement and rituals occurring in a round space.
Sacred ancient sites occur in nature. The act of worship is an ancient practice that has origins in both the awe and fear that the natural world and being alive has inspired in human beings since the beginning of our existence. Natural qualities in a specific environment or human interaction with the environment make for sacred sites. What about our present time- where are we finding and creating sacred sites?
Capitalism is a contradiction to the sacredness of life and is a system that is leading to the extinction of humanity and all living species. What we have now are capitalistic spaces. Architecture reflects the ideologies of a society. How does Lehman College Art Gallery connect to the ideologies of our society? We spend more time within architecture made as a reflection of our current system and less time outdoors. Especially in an urban environment, there is less connection to nature and its cycles. I desire to find sacredness in my urban environment and for capitalism to collapse.
All land, life and water is sacred, even when it gets tainted by human greed and tragedy. Something sacred is something revered and something that has a spiritual quality. I want to create sacred sites in unlikely spaces.
Photo Credit: Gregory Mink