RETURN TO RITUAL, 2021. Collaboration with Cecilia Lu
Charred wood, chicken wire, paper, dirt, burlap mat, clay bowl, intaglio book. 11' x 11' x 10.'
Return to Ritual is a collaborative installation made with artist Cecilia Lu. Inspired by a need for respite during the COVID-19 pandemic, the structure looked to provide an alternative setting for spirituality through simple ritual, touch, and history. Site-specific to the Museum setting, the installation disrupts the museum taboo of touch by allowing entry to simultaneously provide relief from new adherence to biosecurity rules of the pandemic. Inside, a simple ritual, allowing visitors to participate in the maintenance of the site through paper-machete facilitates community as each new piece generates an unfolding history of involvement. In its use, both by entry and participation in the ritual, the installations call to question the act of "archiving," "the archive," and the "artifact," as they create distance, dislocation, and premature death. In examining iconic sites of worship and histories, such as the Pantheon, Hagia Sophia, to earlier sites like the Lascaux Caves, we found some through-lines between these places as invitations for interactivity and fluidity of purpose. As earth-dampened knees and trails through the museum's entirety, the site's responsiveness expanded beyond its locale.