Thursday, January 16, 2014

Upcoming Exhibition: Leiblichkeit und Sexualität, Votive Church, Vienna, Austria, 25th April - 15th June, 2014

A series of architecturally sensitive installations of contemporary art in the side chapels, confessionals and sacred space of the Votive Church in Vienna. The exhibition places art at the center of a critical dialogue between religious and non-religious perspectives on human sexuality, the body, desire and relationships.

The artworks are not religious in their subject matter yet may acquire a religious significance by virtue of their presence in the Church. Religious meaning is found in the experience of art rather than in the object itself.

The Church is a space for contemplation and ritual action, providing sanctuary, refuge and consolation to people of all faiths and none. Both religious and non-religious people can reflect on their being in relation to sacred space, their relationship to a sense of self, to others and perhaps even to think about notions of God. The ritual acts are designed to facilitate an encounter with the divine and draw individuals toward community with others. 

The exhibition aims to make space for a dialogue between contemporary art and the so-called “Theology of the Body”. This exhibition is not an illustration of a theology, nor is it an attempt to force art into a theological frame, but aims to set up a dialogue between ideas already present in contemporary art and a theology that grants a critical space to the contemplation of human sexuality. This dialogue must necessarily take place in a Church, where ideas relating to the body are challenged by their location in liturgical space and must negotiate a relationship with the hierarchical order of the space which finds its summit at the altar. 

Each of the installations will sensitively engage with the architecture and respect the religious significance of the Church in its whole and in its parts. Each work will be made available as an object to introduce new ideas to prayer, theological reflection and provide an opportunity for the quiet contemplation of our embodied experience of being.