Visiting Artist 2 – Kenyon

Bruce Kenyon

Visiting Artist Lecture Lita Albuquerque

           Lita Alburquerque grew up in Pasadena California. As a child she recalls a life changing experience in which she traveled to Rome and saw the Parthenon and the coliseums. The immediate connection to the earth she felt was intensified by these huge stone structures.  When she was in high school she moved to Jerusalem with her family and felt a bit uprooted. Later she returned to the states and studied Art History in UClA, during the 70’s when minimalism was very popular.  She was very influenced by the minimalist style and says her work came to her intuitively.

           Lita starts the explanation of her work by noting that cycles in life affect us on a daily basis, and in our society we don’t pay much attention to these cycles. These cycles include night and day, the seasons, equinoxes and other astronomical related cycles. She goes on to talk about the “binary cycle” which is the idea that our solar system is moving closer to another system that contains a huge star that will transmit more light to our system. She thinks this is important because this light will make us more enlightened. She then describes the Mayan temples and notes how they had observatories and how their temples were built so that they reflected astronomical cycles.

The work that she found most important to describe was her work with pigment.  She covers areas that represent the moon at the highest point in the night, by spreading blue pigment in a circle. She was interesting in marking her human presence in relation to astronomical happenings. At the Washington monument she put a red pigment triangle down where the tip of the monuments’ shadow was resting at four different points during the day. Another piece which was located in Death Valley he did was called the spin of the earth, which contained a spiral inside a cube, and a sun dial inside it. The lines were so spread out that it was impossible to see what the piece was unless you had an Arial view.

Lita notes that the pyramids in Egypt match up to the stars in Orion belt. Lita decided to create a star map next to the pyramids using three tons of blue pigment. Another type of work she did with pigment was to put pigment on canvas and let the wind blow it around until it made a nice shape or pattern. At the North and South Pole she created these blue balls and placed them in a spiral pattern that reflected the movement of the North Star in relation to the earth. She then in a performance mind set, had a bunch of people stand in that spiral to show a human acknowledgement of our relation to this stars. She notes that during her time at the South Pole she experienced a quality of light that was spiritually transformative.

The idea of” alignment with interstellar light” I think is a really interesting one. What is supposed to come from this is a connection to a higher power, and acknowledge of an intelligent design. I think the concepts she is trying to explain are extremely complex, and seemed a little rushed. I appreciate her attempt to reflect astronomical cycles, just like many ancient civilizations do. Her work really ties in the idea of art for more than arts sake, which I believe most art has the potential to be.

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