Phoenix: Xu Bing at the Cathedral
On view through 2014
Over the course of two years, pioneering Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing culled detritus from construction sites across the rapidly changing urban landscape of Beijing, and transformed it into his most monumental project to date: Phoenix (2008-10). A feat of engineering and ingenuity, Phoenix is composed of two birds, a male called Feng and a female called Huang. Feng and Huang—together weighing 12 tons and measuring 90 and 100 feet long, respectively—are now on view at the Cathedral. They hang suspended in the Nave, two majestic birds in perpetual flight beneath its celestial ceiling.
Creating the phoenixes was a tortuous process, requiring flexibility at every turn. Describing the coming-into-being of Phoenix, the artist explains: “The method is unsophisticated, like Chinese lanterns. At the same time it is also in keeping with the Western concept of ready-made assemblage. The entire process of creation forms an interactive relationship with the environment and Chinese society.” At once fierce and strangely beautiful, Xu Bing's mythic birds bear witness to the complex interconnection between labor, history, commercial development, and the rapid accumulation of wealth in today's China.
Phoenix: Xu Bing at the Cathedral is the second presentation of these works in the United States. They were previously on view at MassMoCA, North Adams, MA, and have been exhibited in China at the Today Art Museum, Beijing, and Expo10, Shanghai.
The exhibit is open during the Cathedral's regular hours, 7:30 am – 6 pm daily, and will be on view through 2014. There are no tickets or reservations needed to visit the exhibition.
Amen: A Prayer for the World
On view October 12 – November 23, 2014
This interfaith arts exhibit, brought to the Cathedral by CARAVAN, is designed to build bridges of respect, understanding, and sharing between the creeds and cultures of the East and West.
The exhibition features 48 fiberglass sculptures in prayer painted by Muslim, Christian and Jewish artists from Egypt and the West, seeking to express the deep, fundamental acknowledgement of power and hope for all peoples. To evoke the commonality of prayer, the sculptures' four poses, painted or decorated in a variety of designs, symbolize human diversity, community, and the many forms prayer can take. The fiberglass forms were sculpted by the noted Egyptian artist Reda Abdel Rahman.
In celebration of the exhibit, there will be an evening of Sufi music by Amir Vahab & Ensemble in the Chapel of Saint James on the evening of October 22nd. For more information on "CARAVAN: Sufi Songs of Love," please visit the calendar.
For more information about CARAVAN, please visit their homepage.