August 27, 2010

Pink Mosque with a Home

While putting together part two of the exhibition, “Locations/Dislocations: Abandoned Houses and Unsheltered Souls” I reviewed the previously exhibited collage works to determine which, if any, I would select to show with my new paintings. I paused at the collage, “Rose Mosque with a Home” Would I even be able to exhibit this now that in light of current events it perhaps has taken on a new meaning? Who knew that it would be prescient?

The title for the work is essentially named for the small print on the lower left which reads “having a home” in ancient Chinese seal script. The architectural form was something of an afterthought. And I called it a mosque out of a desire to be inclusive. The current debate over the proposed construction of an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero is both interesting yet sad. Once again I see the pro-arguments not fully taking into account the sorrow of victims of 9/11 and their families and the negative arguments often put forward by people who would exploit that sorrow for their own selfish political agenda.

Is there no compromise? Moving the mosque to a less emotionally volatile area? Or perhaps having the proposed center could stay near ground zero and offer itself as a place of healing where a memorial to victims of 9/11 is included in the structure and free services devoted to their care and welfare.

Perhaps the collage “Rose Mosque with a Home” will be included in the upcoming exhibition to see what kind of response and dialogue it engenders.

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