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Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Fall Exhibition


Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Fall Exhibition

Downtown Tucson, AZ - The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson (MOCA Tucson) is pleased to present Blessed Be: Mysticism, Spirituality, and the Occult in Contemporary Art, a curated exhibition by Ginger Shulick Porcella exploring religion, ritual, cult mentality, and the human impulse to belong and participate, as viewed through the lens of cultural production. This exhibition examines the relationship between “cult” and “culture” and how museum spaces, like sites of worship, are places for sustained, concentrated attention and contemplation.

Blessed Be links spiritual practice to artistic production, raising questions about the liminal spaces that exist between the sacred and the prosaic, and celebrates these renowned contemporary artists and visionaries. The exhibition reveals the performance behind the ritual, and as such Blessed Be is an evolving exhibition, activated throughout the course of the show through a full series of lectures, screenings, and performances.

Themes explored in the exhibition include the power of language, sometimes as veiled or coded symbols (as in the work of Christopher Carrol or BREYER P-ORRIDGE); the sublime (as experienced through some of the more monumental and immersive works such as Cassils’ Ghost or Leo Villareal’s Signature of the Invisible); and ways that we can leave behind the here and now to go beyond what we previously thought was mentally or physically possible to explore the deeper mysteries of the universe (as in Adam Cooper-Terán’s site of ritual or in Matthew Day Jackson’s satirical In Search of…Lost Civilizations).

Ultimately, Blessed Be evokes the inexpressible through both form and aesthetics, unveiling the divine aspects that can be found in even the most mundane activities to transform the museum into a sacred space for contemplation, empathy, revelation, global understanding, and transcendence.

Participating Artists:

Cassils, Ron Athey, Arshia Haq, Alison Blickle, Christopher Carroll, Adam Cooper-Terán, Mikala Dwyer, Amir H. Fallah, Barnaby Furnas, Matthew Day Jackson, Baseera Khan, Reverend Steven Johnson Leyba, Candice Lin, Ann McCoy, BREYER P-ORRIDGE, Harry E. Smith, Scott Treleaven, Leo Villareal, Zadie Xa

The opening reception and MOCA member’s preview will be held from 7-8pm on Saturday, September 15, 2018 with a public opening reception from 8pm-9pm. The exhibition will run through December 30, 2018 and is accompanied by an 88-page, full-color catalogue.


MOCA Tucson inspires new ways of thinking through the cultivation, exhibition, and interpretation of contemporary art. We are the pre-eminent, artist-centered contemporary art institution in the Southwest, and we believe that art has the power to change the world. MOCA Tucson cultivates critical dialogue between artists and audiences about today’s world, supports artists through the production and presentation of new, experimental work, and educates the artists and audiences of tomorrow. MOCA Tucson maintains a full exhibition, education, and artist-in-residence program and is committed to excellence, diversity, and social concerns as reflected through the interdisciplinary lens of contemporary art, providing a platform to connect people and advance knowledge in a global society.

Please also save-the-date for these programs in conjunction with Blessed Be:

Tuesday, September 25, 6pm-7pm – Art Now! With Dr. Paul Ivey on religion and contemporary art

Friday, October 12, 8pm-10pm – Film Screening of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 1 and Cremaster 4

Thursday, October 18, 6pm-8pm – FREE Third Thursday shrine building workshop

Tuesday, October 23, 6pm-7pm – Art Now! With Scott Treleaven on art and magic

Saturday, October 27, 6pm-8pm – Screening of Harry E. Smith’s Heaven and Earth Magic on 16mm             with live musical accompaniment and slideshow lecture with Rani Singh, Director of the Harry

            Smith Archives

Tuesday, November 6, 6pm-7pm – Art Now! with the Oracle of LA Amanda Yates Garcia

Thursday, November 29, 5pm-7pm – Lecture with Cassils at Center for Creative Photography

Saturday, December 1, 1pm-4pm – Performance of “Cyclic” by Cassils, Ron Athey, and Arshia Haq at         Biosphere 2

Tuesday, December 11, 6pm-7pm – Art Now! With Al Ridenour on Krampus

Friday, December 21, 7pm-11pm – Winter Solstice Celebration with performances by Adam Cooper-Terán and Angèle Lebert