Aspen Art Museum’s ‘Ritual’ to host aura photography, meditation and salad-tossing | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Art Museum’s ‘Ritual’ to host aura photography, meditation and salad-tossing

Even if you're an enthusiastic regular at the Aspen Art Museum, nobody would blame you for skipping the building's smallest exhibition space on most visits. Known officially as "Gallery 6," this quaint space tucked into the far side of the basement doesn't connect to the bigger underground galleries and its exhibitions are often overshadowed by the meaty, massive shows that fill the galleries upstairs.

But this little orphan of a gallery space has often hosted challenging shows that reward repeat visits, like Mary Ramsden's "(In/It)" last winter and the group show "Gravity & Grace" last spring, along with intimate gems like the Agnes Martin drawing exhibition that inaugurated the space in 2014.

The group exhibition that's filled the gallery in recent months, "Ritual," invites viewers to reflect on experiences with routine and to explore ways that mundane daily practices might connect them to something bigger than themselves. The show demands repeat visits and will include special events to bring you back.

Running over the course of a full year, the show is running in three iterations. The first, which opened in December and runs though April 1, includes psychedelic prayer rugs by Baseera Khan, a menagerie of odds and ends picked up by Yuji Agematsu while walking the streets of New York, and depictions by Joachim Koester of people dancing to free themselves of tarantula venom. (All three segments of "Ritual" also include cast found objects by Kate Newby, which museum staff are carrying in their pockets over the course of the year, and are viewable only by request.)

"Embedded into the everyday, (rituals) serve as an implement of certainty in an uncertain world," reads the exhibition catalog. "'Ritual' invites museum visitors to engage with this universal human experience. It also offers a window into the various ways artists use rituals as a transformative instrument of art making to construct personal or collective meaning, process experiences, memorialize people or events, mark the passage of time, and act out spiritual or religious traditions."

The second segment, opening April 4, will include polaroid aura portraits by Anne Collier and works by Tony Feher, Meschac Gaba, Yayoi Kusama and Kris Martin.

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The museum is inviting patrons to take notice of the show with a daylong event Thursday, March 29. The aura photography studio Radiant Human will be on hand throughout the day taking portraits — of individuals or groups — that promise to capture the subject's aura in a chromatic photograph. The museum hosts a free guided meditation at noon that day.

In July, When the museum transitions into its third and final iteration of "Ritual" — which boasts work by the great David Hammons along with Francis Alÿs, Sophie Calle and Ana Mendieta — the occasion will be marked with a performance of Alison Knowles' "Proposition: Make a Salad," which invites viewers to literally make a giant salad and has drawn worldwide attention since its premiere in 1962. It has been performed (and eaten) in recent years at the Tate Modern in London, on the High Line in Manhattan and at Art Basel in Miami.

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IF YOU GO …

What: ‘Ritual’

Where: Aspen Art Museum

When: Segment One, through April 1; Segment Two, April 3-July 15; Segment Three, July 17-Nov. 25

How much: Free

More info: http://www.aspenartmuseum.org

What: ‘Marking Ritual: Aura Photography & Meditation’

When: Thursday, March 29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; meditation at noon

Where: Aspen Art Museum

How much: Free for meditation; $35 for aura photograph

Registration: education@aspenartmuseum.org