Ritual- Admonishment: An Address To Those Who Have Markers
3 pm-4 pm, Chapel of the Three Sisters, Queens, NY, April 14th, 2018.
The ritual titled, Admonishment: An Address To Those Who Have Markers, originated from conflicting emotions about disparities between the centuries old cemeteries on CUNY York College campus. The ritual is a meditation on the healing of generational trauma. The central theme of this ritual is the tension created by the privilege and innocence dwelling within Prospect Cemetery (est. 1668). This cemetery is a clear expression of privilege when compared with the abandoned Methodist Cemetery, also on York campus. Prospect Cemetery along with Chapel of the Three Sisters (est. 1857) were restored and established as landmarks thanks to a descendant of Nicholas Ludlum. He built the chapel to commemorate his three daughters. The youngest, Mary Cecelia, died at the age of 1. Contemplating the death of this baby became essential for developing my ritual.
The ritual is takes place on top of the round fabric artwork titled Interstice. This piece gets placed on top of chalk lines marking the cardinal directions on the pavement. Placed at the eastern direction are large framed glass pieces used to see reflections. Sage, baby’s breath flowers, and symbolic movements are components of the ritual. A stone and crystal necklace and dress act as protective elements during the ritual. The ritual nears an end with an invocation that leads into bowing to the ground. A circular movement of my body crawling into a fetal position and resting on top of Interstice marks the end of the ritual.
Commissioned by No Longer Empty Curatorial Lab
Video & Editing by Connie Chavez
Photography by Sakeenah Saleem