YOGI INSTALLATION IS AN ANTIDOTE TO VIOLENCE EXHIBIT AT ATLANTIC WORKS GALLERY, bOSTON, MARCH 2016.
YOGI INSTALLATION is a multi-sensory sculptural event, akin to standing inside a Buddhist stupa. Atlantic Gallery faces west and overlooks Boston Harbor. The installation gives expression to the inescapable adventure of human mutuality and is a basis for an offering that intends to be an antidote to violence.
The installation begins with a series of frontal torso casts of American yogi arranged in rows around the circumference of the gallery. A few of the yogi plaster casts are gently highlighted with ritual colors from India. Each male and female sculpture, because of their nakedness, posturing, and fashioning, exposes the inner body and energy patterns as well as individual vulnerability and dignity. As a grouping, they reveal a strong, common physicality and open the door to a way-of-being in the world that is neither digital nor scientific but humanistic.
The choice of materials and presentation weave together ancient and modern, East and West. There is an accompanying audio narrative: breath, alone and ensemble, pulls together the movement of life through time and space, creating an aura of fullness and joy. The installation becomes the collective heart of an ongoing crisscross of lifetimes, cultures, and future generations.
Why yoga teachers? Many yoga teachers have opened doors for self-reflection and have helped others stay calm in the face of aggression. The subject group utilizes the vitality of present-day practitioners to pierce time and share new and old knowledge.
Why intersect East and West? As a practice yoga has made a pilgrimage from East to West. Everybody knows someone who is doing yoga and most likely everyone will try it out at some point in their life. Yoga is a way of staying stable in relation to time. Something to return to: doing it and living it now; having done it as body goes through time and ages; yoga as everyone has been doing it, historically; yoga as it will continue to be done by future persons.
Why a stupa? According to Buddhist teachings, repairing and making new stupas invites benefit and enlightenment into the future.
As a group the installation members expose elements of a common physicality. Heart-centered movement and exercises that expand and extend the breath result in an openness and spreading out of the upper chest.
…”the Self, smaller than small, greater than great, is hidden in the heart of the creature." (Upanishads) .
Individually the sculptures pay homage to the classical statuary of ancient Greece; to the French sculptor Rodin who when asked why his sculpture didn't have a head answered, "No need for a head. The head is everywhere; and to B.S.K. Iyengar who says, "In Yoga there is an integration of body with mind, mind with the consciousness, and consciousness with intelligence itself."