The Value of Sanctuary - Building a House Without Walls
Time & Location
About the Event
From 14. 02. To 30. 06. 2019
Beginning with the historic framework of the Cathedral as a site of welcome and refuge, this multidisciplinary exhibition explores the question of sanctuary through the work of modern and contemporary artists. Using the Cathedral’s sacred space as a canvas, these works illuminate the intersections between spiritual and social identity, and the ways in which personhood and community cohesion speak to and are formed by notions of dignity, inclusion, and exclusion.
The Preamble to the Constitution of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, chartered in 1873 as the church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, describes the Cathedral as a “house of prayer for the use of all people.” In the almost 150 years since the signing of that charter, notions of community, of inclusion, of sanctuary have persisted as frequent topics of discussion and dissent. The current political discourse about national borders and identity, about human rights and their application in an often unpredictable world, has only made these discussions more urgent.
The Value of Sanctuary reaches back to the Cathedral’s founding and forward into the most pressing issues of the 21st century. The works in the exhibition and their placement within the Cathedral context raise many questions on the path to encompassing many definitions: What does it mean to be a house of welcome and of refuge, to offer sanctuary to those in need? What are the threads connecting us, as individuals and as communities? And where do we draw the line?
by JONATHAN GOODMAN - May, 2019