Ancient Strategies in Contemporary Art by Deni DeBon ©
Dominique Mazeaud began a project called “The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande,” in 1987. Once a month, on the same day each month, like clockwork she went to the Rio Grande river, near her home, and removed garbage out of the river. Part of her work involved keeping a diary. Sometimes the diary was documentation of the day’s events and other times she wrote “prayers” or poems about her ritual.12 Though Mazeaud is not making a grand ecological impact, her art reaches out through compassion, for one day a month she coexists with the river. Her ritual is personal and usually involves herself, and the people who pass by. Personal rituals work to reclaim one’s own identity, which cannot be found in today’s industrial culture. There is a longing to obtain an intrinsic sense of identity within the individual. Artists are turning to interactive processes which often seem simple and down to earth, working towards finding a sense of function within the world which also heightens the sense of self. Within the current traditions, there is little understanding of ritual art forms. In Mazeaud’s piece, her diary is the only commodity available. The function of the work is the interaction between artist and subject, the ending result is only known to the artist
I am adding this as it follows up on the Suzi Gablik item below. There are some important elements here.
These are the things that move us into the virtual, and that is where the gods are.
Virtual and ritual – connected?