Lady Freedom, the Capitol dome, Washington, D.C.
“Another bottom line of spirituality is compassion. Compassion is inclusion of the other, to involve the world, bring the world together. It implies collaboration, compassionate collaboration of different sensibilities, skills, talents to create great, wondrous, inclusive multi-sensory symphonies that so wed human concerns with life of the environment so that you can’t tell the difference between life and art.”
– Dr. JoséArgüelles
Art & Soul (1)
Enough wars. Enough suffering.
Enough of my curator’s musings on the spiritual in art in our time.
Even though my musings come from the heart, now, in this despairing time of war, it is the time to simply do my spiritual in art in my time.
As someone born in Paris, France, in 1942, I know war. As someone born in a family affected by unending conflicts I have witnessed in six generations, I know war. I feel I have been a peace activist all my life. I certainly have been an activist in more traditional ways. (2) But from day one that I spoke as an artist, with Forgiveness, the Key to Peace (1987) I went straight who I am, a lover of Peace. (3)
So what to do on November 4, 2023, as Hamas attacked Israel and Israel has sent ground troops to Gaza? What does this heartist do?
My ground is sacred, it is the Earth; besides some of the ways I identify the spiritual: interconnectedness, unity in diversity, and compassion. My ground is also holding my Jewish roots through my paternal grand-mère and my being a sufi by predilection. Holding all these elements in my heart, I decided to do version #4 of Tears of the World. (Previous ones were two for Iraq and one for Ukraine). All pieces are for PEACE and THE CHILDREN.
This art as prayer work is very taxing for me. AND NOW, my cardiologist tells me NO STRESS. I am at a loss. Call on 100 women to support this plan? Evolve this piece to include another one titled One Hundred Senators praying at the feet of Lady Freedom? Where to turn? What to do but praying “to return non-love with love? (4)
Please let me know your thoughts. This is not about taking sides, it's for THE CHILDREN on both sides. Friends, women of the world, we need to do something . . . ENOUGH.
From my heart,
(1) A panel I organized at The Cooper-Union’s School of Art in 1986 with Audrey Flack, Suzi Gablik, Melinda Wortz and Jose Arguelles, Ph.D.
(2) Like joining People for Peace in 1991 and working for the establishment of a Department of Peace since 2004. Or co-founding Women in Black, Santa Fe, 2001.
(3) Among other pieces for Peace is Yitzhak and Leila, the Romeo and Juliet of the Holy Land, 2004.
(4) From Our Lady’s Prayer