Thursday, May 21, 2009

To Mark a Prayer: Uyghur Mazar

It's amazing what you find when you are just "thumbing" through emails. I discovered this blog called Shermaniablog. Sherman Clarke is a librarian who has garnered an outstanding reputation in the areas of cataloging and art librarianship, and has been an active member of ARLIS/NA and VRA. On his blog I found this beautiful YouTube video by Lisa Ross. It felt like a meditation and sculptural at the same time.

'To Mark a Prayer: Uyghur Mazar' contemplates the holy sites of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China. Ross skillfully handles this delicate subject matter through her images, thereby granting us an intimate view of the sacred. [The show continues until June 13, 2009]

"Using a visual medium to record something as intangible as faith, as subjective as spirituality, may seem like a paradox; however, it is a challenge that has allowed me to investigate boundaries of genre. By focusing primarily on the sites themselves - their delicate structures, ephemeral materials, and organic connection to the desert landscape - I hope to reveal elements of transcendence and devotion. I am most interested in images which push beyond their role as document; my decision not to include people in the religious landscape departs from a photojournalistic reading, thereby creating a direct and intimate experience between viewer and object." LR