Louis Jacinto, Gold Descending
Coagula Curatorial and Lisa Derrick Fine Arts present, Goddesses & Gods, one exhibition manifested in two art galleries along Chung King Road in downtown Los Angeles. The exhibition will feature over thirty artists presenting interpretations of deities in various artistic formats. During the opening night artists and patrons are encouraged to dress up as their chosen goddess or god. And as the patrons use their bodies to the host the spirits of the celestials, both galleries will become the sacred space in which the gods mix with the immortals.
Interpretation of the sacred is not the representation of the divine. Ritual is individualized. The individual personalizes tradition or ritualistic ceremony through their distinctive personality. Like a prism filtering light, every individual absorbs one light and exudes an array of color distinct to their personal constitution. Rituals, spiritual traditions, religions, philosophy, deities, goddesses, and gods are all in one sense beams of pure light. A person who takes this light within themselves will no doubt be conditioned by its illumination, and yet, they will also portray the sacred element in a unique way according to their personality. By this definition, the divine is not defined by that one light removed from the dark, but is rather defined by its assorted manifestations through the colors of diverse individuals. Quantitatively one individual cannot represent the divine in its fullness, but an individual can represent such a light qualitatively.
And so we have seen since time immemorial, individuals and society collectively drawing the divine down from the heavens into this mortal realm in order to invoke that very divinity from above within ourselves. It is the notion of religion that our being is in essence divine, or spiritual, or pure consciousness. From Eastern Hinduism to Western occultism, there is a variety of interpretations and traditions embodying concepts of divinity. Though many of these spiritual systems disagree with one another’s concept of divinity or spirituality, and certainly differ in practices, one can appreciate how diverse the world is when people strive to communicate with the spirit within themselves. Violence has been a result of these differences, but there is also culture, art, philosophy, literature, and science that has come from the pursuit of understanding one’s relationship with the Whole. What all these traditions have in common is the pursuit of ascending.
Ascension is also defined uniquely by these various traditions. Ascension can literally be interpreted as the soul transcending the material elements and entering the spiritual realm or heaven. Ascension might also be defined by attaining a higher state of consciousness. It might be defined by attaining one’s highest Self. It might be defined as communicating with one’s Higher Self or Holy Guardian Angel. However one determines their geometry, the pursuit of spirituality draws one to a more complete experience of their individuality.
This concept of the oneness of the divine being manifest through variety is revealed in religious traditions throughout history worldwide. Traditionally, gods and goddesses are demigods. In the Vedic scriptures, at least one interpretation, is that the demigods are part and parcel of the Godhead. They are partial expansions of the Godhead in order to perform the functions of maintaining the universe. By studying the personalities of the demigods we also understand that they also represent physical and psychological functions of the individual human. For example, in the Vedas, Indra represents the hands. The Vedic viewpoint is also that our human bodies and minds are also composed of the demigods. There is no part of us that is not a part of the demigods. We are complete embodiments of the Godhead as all the demigods who are partial manifestations of the Godhead are within us. As our bodies are composed of the dust of stars, we can understand the mysteries of the universe by having a fuller understanding of our individuality through the body and mind.
Whether one’s self-realization stops with the body and mind being god or one takes it a step further and believes there is a spiritual essence within this temporary body that is qualitatively spiritual, there is a relationship with the spirit and the material. The body is said to be the temple of god, and yet that temple also is god. And so why the need for tradition, religion, scriptures, rituals, temples, and churches?
The body is a space for the divine to occupy. Even if one believes that spirit is already inherit within the individual, there is still a need to harness the mind in order to withdraw it from misconceptions and illusions to focus inward and discover the spiritual truth within. Whether one believes in god, heaven, hell, or the soul, the body serves as a space to interpret the concept of divinity. Instituting a public space assists in the process of individuation. A ceremony serves the same purpose. By creating sacred boundaries, whether physical or intellectual, the individual’s mind prepares itself to connect their being with the entirety of creation. One of the most effective means for establishing boundaries for this purpose is drama.
Both in ceremonial rituals and the arts, theatrical depictions have been used to display the lives of the gods and to call upon them to come down into this earthly realm. By doing so the audience or actor simultaneously brings out the god’s associated qualities within themselves. This is the effect of acting in general. Both in dramatic and visual arts, the artist and audience are able to experience the abstract notion of the spiritual in a recognizable form, making it easier to engage.
And so we arrive at the exhibition Goddesses & Gods, in which we see the variety within spirituality revealed through the unique styles and formats of the contributing artists. And during the opening night the display of the eternal intermingling with the ephemeral reminds us that whether we wear the robes of a god or a human, we each complete the full spectrum of divinity. As cultures have done for millennia, Coagula Curatorial and Lisa Derrick Fine Arts have not established a sacred space to invite, to invoke, the celestials to come into our world. And it is through art that the public, the uninitiated, may be inspired and reminded of their spiritual nature within themselves and their relationship with the greater out of the world and universe outside themselves. It is the ever evolving relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm. And for one month, audiences will have a window of opportunity to experience immortality.
Goddesses & Gods
June 22 – July 20, 2019
Opening June 22, 6-9pm
Coagula Curatorial & Lisa Derrick Fine Arts
Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles
DJ set by Spirits of the Night
Live performance by Marty Gold and the Gold Standard
Artists: Regina Argentin, Jean-Pierre Boccara, Lili Bernard, Rick Castro, COOP, Aleka Corwin, Mike Vegas Dommermuth, Sequoia Emmanuelle, Sandra Equihua, Sophia Gasparian, GERMS, Maria Gkinala, Golgo, Brian Grillo, Stephen Holman, Louis Jacinto, Shaelin Jornigan, Lizz López, Eva Malhotra, Aline Mare,, Parris Patton, Pres-One, Eva Polonkai, Rosie One, Stephen Seeymayer, Kim Seltzer, Melinda R. Smith,James Stanford, Rodriel Trammell, Kayla Tange, David Van Gough, Stephanie Vega, J. Michael Walker