About the subject
The Ritual was born as part of a performance that is not yet published online. You can either follow me on instagram or join my telegram group to follow progress. The performance had as theme the 'wrong usage' of imagery and artifacts that results from lack of cultural knowledge. The wax of blessed orthodox prayer candles that were used for this performance/ritual is part of the final sculpture.
Before going deeper into the subject of this piece I would like you to ask yourself following questions:
- What culture do you belong to?
- Why is this you culture? Does it belongs to you?
- What entitles you or anybody to define the rules within this culture?
These are probably difficult questions to answer, because we are necessarily born into a culture, internalizing it without actively seeking to learn it. And it is precisely this, what makes it so difficult to learn other cultures a priori. This would then lead to the conclusion, that contact with different cultures from with the own culture is doomed to be nothing but a missunderstanding. I would argue that people are bound to butcher cultures, their 'own culture' and foreign cultures. And living means appropriating culture and by extension mutating it.
Since culture changes and mutates through time, from generation to generation and within a generation aswell, could we then be dealing with a missuse of culture among the very individuals that once were culturalized with even that specific culture? Take political correctness as an example: words that define groups of people, be it ethnical for example, can at a certain point be deemed to be discriminating and demeaning. So what happens to the users of those words? Doesn't the distinction between the them and the us disappear a little bit with this new usage? And don't two new groups arise from this: the group of people who adopt the new politically correct variants and those who don't (either willingly or not). Think COVID-19 and the what has happened to body language since then: where a greeting without body contact (like handshakes, hugs, kisses) had the active message of being distant and cold, it has widely become the usual way to greet, losing the prior connotation. We are talking about a specifical COVID-19, where masks are no longer part of the sexy nurse halloween costume, but a first necessity item.
What is the connection between culture and the piece?
Well, as I mentioned before, The Ritual was born as part of a performance in which elements of different cultures were carefully thrown together to create a mixture. This mixture of russian orthodox prayers, japanese style buildings, shibari rope art and occult ritualisitc composition makes the The Ritual a product of many symbols taken out of their original contexts and reinterprets it in a cultural agnostic manner, hoping to achieve universality through aesthetics.