Performance piece for Cinque Mostre Exhibition at the American Academy in Rome. 




The reliquary, a tailored and specifically designed container holding the fragments of relics, has been at the center of Western devotional practice for the last 2000 years. It is the most powerful and intense example of the “created” fragment; the type of fragment which is intentionally designed.

This performance re-purposes and orchestrates the ritual and procession associated with reliquary making. The participant is asked to design its own fragment/relic and display it as a collective object within the large reliquary frame. Initially, we are asked to choose one plaster casts and a fragmentation strategy from the multi-headed gilded hammer (There are 4: Stamping, The Double Cut, The Concave Punch, or The Serrated Edge). After breaking the plaster bodies to a desired state of incompleteness, it is suggested to admire the vulnerable and poignant beauty of the created fragments, and possibly ponder on our very own transience and ephemerality. Lastly, the dismembered casts are placed for viewing inside the reliquary frame.

While the piece is suggestive of iconoclasm in its aggressiveness of execution and perversity of intent in relishing the act of dismemberment, its aim is not to generate wanton ruin or destruction, but rather to build a new sensitivity to design and creation through fragmentation…to be confronted by the beauty and intensity of the fragment…to make through unmaking.











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