Department of Fine Arts

Blanche & Romie Shapiro

Fine Art 2019, Graduate Exhibitions
meshi cohen, Beast
, 2019, Graduated 2019, Fine Arts

A sweat lodge is an ancient Indian perspiration ceremony, which takes place in a structure that goes down to the earth’s womb. The purpose of the ceremony is rebirth, purification, and renewal through a combination of mental and physical aspects.
In the center of the sweat lodge is a pit in which the shaman, using the horns of a fallow deer, places hot volcanic rocks taken directly out of the bonfire placed outside the lodge. The shaman places medicinal herbs on the rocks and on them she pours water. The steam coming from the rocks fills the space.
Organizing the space into an end-to-end experience leaves almost no room for anything but relaxation, loss of control, animality, and liveliness.

It is easy to confuse submission and control with devotion. They often appear together, and the line between them is thin.
Submission leads to dependence; The desire to know, the constant need for control and the holding on to what is familiar. Together, they allow a conformist definition of the self.
The experience of devotion, full self-sanctification to the living, the inanimate or the plant, arises as a primal need to free the self from the definition. As such, it gives rise to accessibility and the willingness to go to the unknown, to be exposed to danger. There is openness to change. Every time a worthy choice takes place, there is a certain dimension of betting, lack of knowledge as a condition of mind.
Devotion is not voluntary action. It cannot be controlled or restrained. You cannot simply make it happen, what you can do is create a suitable environment whose conditions allow it’s happening. 

meshi cohen
Graduated 2019