1000 Paths at MOBIA
In 2014, I was commissioned to create an original work for the group exhibition Back To Eden: Contemporary Artists Wander The Garden, organized and exhibited by the Museum of Biblical Art in NYC. As the name implies, this show sought contemporary artwork that explored biblical themes, specifically the story of Genesis and the Garden of Eden. The exhibition also featured work by Fred Tomaselli, Pipilotti Rist, Barnaby Furnas, Mark Dion, Mary Temple, Jim Dine, Mat Collishaw, Marina Zurkow, Adam Fuss and several others.
Far from being a studied or practicing spiritual/religious person, I approached this project with a Joseph Campbell-like fascination in the philosophical meaning of the myths, universal symbols, and allegorical forms that artists have used to tell their stories throughout time and across different traditions. The Edenic Tree can be interpreted as a universal typology -- the axis Mundi, the Sefirot in Kabbalah, or the Norse Yggdrassil 'World Tree', for example — and is thus open to a wide range of interpretations. At the same time, I wanted to address more modern practices of spiritual/occult thought in nonrepresentational & abstract art, and pay homage to that history.
I think of spirituality, like art itself, as a kind of enhancement for the imagination, a symbolic framework to express the ineffable.
Back To Eden was curated by Jennifer Scanlan.