May 11 – August 18 1991
Between May 11 and August 18, 1991, the New Museum presented five artists whose work was concerned with a symbolic use of the body as a vehicle for religious meaning in the West. “Embodying Faith” traced how references to the physical in religious symbols and language — such as Christ’s Passion and the mortification of the flesh — shape notions of the body and its representation.
Christopher Doyle, for instance, considered notions of birth, decay, and death in his sculptural object The Production of Relics, a work which comprised two large black boxes that contained, respectively, a plant commonly known as the Crown of Thorns and a colony of beetles that cleaned the carcasses of a dove and a snake.
Cristina Emmanuel’s work drew upon the popular arts as well as images from the African-Catholic religions of her native Puerto Rico. Through painting, drawing, and the collage of everyday materials, Emmanuel’s work constructed a dialogue between desire and devotion, spiritual faith, and physical healing.
Also included in the exhibition were works by Christine Davis, Angel Suarez-Rosado, and Jon Tower.