Thursday, September 22, 2011

Charis Exhibition, boundary crossings: a journey with direction

Roger Feldman
Pivots: Inside Passage
Painted wood, metal straps, and stone
Site-specific installation at Calvin College
16’ x 12’ x 12’
photograph by versluis, 2011

Starting the middle of October Dordt College will be hosting the Charis Exhibition in the Campus Center Art Gallery. Charis is a Greek word meaning “Grace” or, essentially “goodwill on the part of the doer.” The exhibition was a collaborative art-making project in the summer of 2008 between selected North American artists and selected Indonesian artists. Interestingly, Dordt alumna, Krista (Koning) Krygsman designed the wonderful catalog which accompanies the show.

The piece pictured above is a full-scale version from a maquette, which was developed during the project — the maquette is in the show.

Professor Rachel Hostetter Smith, exhibition curator, writes in the introductory essay of the exhibition catalog, “Roger Feldman investigates the tensions that arise in this global economy as beliefs, values, and needs come into conflict with one another.” His Pivots series was produced in the context found in Indonesia through participation in the Charis Project.

Inside Passage was a commission and a cooperation of students and community members under Feldman’s direction to build the art piece on site. One may enter into the piece through an open passageway and walk through, encountering gentle obstacles which force a change in direction but leads to open spaces above and through to the other side.

A prominent painted exterior panel represents the bright Indonesian sky. In addition, here’s a description about the piece from Feldman’s website:

Three semi-circular walls join a geometric right-angled wall and refer to the four major world religions of Islam (green) [shown above], Hindu (yellow), Buddhist (orange) and Christian (white) faiths. The exterior does not reveal the interior experiences nor the sound component due to its orientation. An overhead bundle of poles tie the four religions together as they share a burden of co-existence.[1]
  1. Smith, Rachel Hostetter, ed. Charis: Boundary Crossings. Grand Rapids: Calvin College, 2009. 14. Print.

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