Throughout the coming weeks, most everyone will be running around in a frenzy buying gifts for family and friends.
On the surface, we buy them to express care and devotion—but perhaps, if we dig a little further, we might find that our relationships to objects and to each other are far more complex than we think.
This is the inspiration behind local artists Sydney Cooper and Edie Song's latest collaborative endeavor, Forget Your Perfect Offering, which opens this weekend at the CCA.
"It's an unusual exhibition for us, because there is so much performance and so many local artists that are going to be showing up," Erin Elder, Visual Arts Director at CCA explains. "The gallery will become a sacred space in which things can happen," she adds.
It's no accident that the name of this exhibition is taken directly from the Leonard Cohen song "Anthem." Cohen's lyrics, which are poignant throughout, really come alive when he gets to the chorus:
Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything/ That's how the light gets in…
The words slide gracefully out in Cohen's deep and raspy voice, and the listener instantly "gets" what Cohen is trying to express: It's the imperfections that make things interesting—whether it's a piece of old pottery with a chunk missing from its handle or a person who walks with a limp.
Elder goes on to say that common, inanimate objects play a significant role in the show.
"Sydney and Edie have been collecting objects: shoes, used candy wrappers—bringing their collections of little tiny beautiful things—Christmas lights, garlands and things that sparkle."
The number of pieces in the exhibit, she says, "will grow over the course of the show as things are added and left behind."
The holidays are the perfect time to explore our rituals and ceremonies involving artifacts and our emotional connections to them. In examining these objects, viewers can explore their concept of spirituality and either reject or embrace their notion of human perfection.
On opening night, self-proclaimed "culture witch" Erika Wanenmacher will give an invocation to set the mood for the show.
"I will be performing a magical ceremony that will bring everyone in attendance together in time and space," Wanenmacher tells SFR.
Her plan to achieve this? "By grounding, then casting a circle of protection around the space, calling the four directions and center, and welcoming all beneficent energies...in a nutshell."
Forget Your Perfect Offering: 6-8 pm Friday Dec. 14. Free. CCA, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 982-1338