7pm – Members’ Opening
8pm – Public Opening
The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson (MOCA Tucson) is pleased to present Blessed Be: Mysticism, Spirituality, and the Occult in Contemporary Art, a curated exhibition by Ginger Shulick Porcella exploring religion, ritual, cult mentality, and the human impulse to belong and participate, as viewed through the lens of cultural production. This exhibition examines the relationship between “cult” and “culture” and how the museum space, like sites of worship, are places for sustained, concentrated attention and contemplation. Blessed Be links spiritual practice to artistic production, raising questions about the liminal spaces that exist between the sacred and the prosaic, celebrating these renowned contemporary artists and visionaries. The exhibition reveals the performance behind the ritual, and as such Blessed Be is an evolving exhibition, activated throughout the course of the show through a full series of lectures, screenings, and performances. Themes explored in the exhibition include the power of language, sometimes as veiled or coded symbols (as in the work of Christopher Carrol or BREYER P-ORRIDGE); the sublime (as experienced through some of the more monumental and immersive works such as Cassils’ Ghost or Leo Villareal’s Signature of the Invisible); and ways that we can leave behind the here and now to go beyond what we previously thought was mentally or physically possible to explore the deeper mysteries of the universe (as in Adam Cooper-Terán’s site of ritual or in Matthew Day Jackson’s satirical In Search of…Lost Civilizations). Ultimately, Blessed Be evokes the inexpressible through both form and aesthetics, unveiling the divine aspects that can be found in even the most mundane activities to transform the museum into a sacred space for contemplation, empathy, revelation, global understanding, and transcendence.
Cassils, Ron Athey, Arshia Haq, Alison Blickle, Christopher Carroll, Adam Cooper-Terán, Mikala Dwyer, Amir H. Fallah, Barnaby Furnas, Matthew Day Jackson, Baseera Khan, Candice Lin, Ann McCoy, BREYER P-ORRIDGE, Harry E. Smith, Scott Treleaven, Leo Villareal, Zadie Xa