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Afruz Amighi

The link between art and spirituality has oft been both mysterious yet palpable. The Praxis project is an effort to make the historically ethereal connection between these themes more tangible by inviting artists to describe how the two interrelate within their work. We reached out to artists and proposed to them a question: How would you define the role of spirituality within your art practice and how do you feel this affects your artwork?

Here you will find their answers.

Is there an architecture of worship? … can we find it in a house of prayer, a mausoleum, a secret niche inside a home, a white ghost-bike on a desolate street?

Building shrines is an ancient compulsion. We scurry around collecting things, we stockpile them, arranging them this way and that. It’s so o welcome, this flurry of activity; acting on orders from without feels so good, obliterating thoughts. And when we finally find the physical contours of the thing and we behold our shrine….it interrupts time and creates stillness.

Sometimes when we are moved by what we do, what we build, compose, write, we find ourselves in this stillness. For me, it is often preceded by a frenzy. And then it sits, this stillness, draping its weight over my shoulders, producing a sensation somewhere inside the moment where we suspend disbelief.

“. . .they are really not so precious, these smithereens. It’s just the air around them that is sacred. . .”

The Offering, 2016, aluminium radiator banding, base metal chain, light.

This hidden state within all forms–how to locate it? It feels like a kernel inside whatever I hold in my hands: the steel, the fabric, the chain. It is there, as small as an atom. So I strip everything down, degrade it, so it barely exists anymore. It’s like a piece of air hanging onto a grain of sand. And I am chasing it so hard.

Then enter light please so that it might envelop the bones of what’s left. And hide them in shadow and protect them in shadow from you seeing what they really are. Because they are really not so precious, these smithereens. It’s just the air around them that is sacred. If it lingers then it holds us. And we all know when this is happening and that we have found it.

Nameless, 2014, steel, fiberglass mesh, Wenge wood, ultra-suede, invisible thread, gunmetal chain, LED lights