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Sacred Objects

by Mary Mattingly
Nov 2016

Artist Mary Mattingly’s project "Sacred Objects" attempts to portray rituals associated with consumption and discard. This anthropology of objects considers questions about everyday life, and how our daily rhythms are dependent on purchase, use, and inevitable waste. How do we understand the passage of time? How do we interpret permanence and ephemerally what endures and for how long? And what constitutes value?

The artist will work with students to package a group of objects collected by them into a sculptural form. The work will be buried on the Diag, still viewable through a custom made acrylic box that serves as a crypt-like container.

The burial pays homage to the layered life of each object, including all the beings that have participated in creating them. It symbolically honors the land, the individuals and the groups that were altered through the making of each object and the earth itself. It serves to commemorate the comings and goings of students on campus, their vast and varied imprints, what they cultivate, and what they leave behind..

"Objects Unveiled: Boxing, Rolling, Stretching, and Cutting," an exhibition in the Institute for the Humanities gallery will include photographs and text about the groupings of objects.