A review of recent artwork by contemporary Balinese artist Citra Sasmita and her use of archetypal objects and symbols such as cloth.
Jodi Shaw theorizes the sacred in South Indian Hindu temples by maneuvering affect theory and her current ethnographic work in Cidambaram into dialogue. Shaw directs our attention to the pre-verbal and extra-linguistic elements of temple encounters in order to shape a sense of the sacred as “visceral conversations.”
Courtney O’Dell-Chaib considers how toxic materials complicate conceptions of “sacred natures” through their ability to ooze beyond categories such as nature/culture, human/nonhuman, sacred/profane. In conversation with voices in material feminisms and affect theory, O’Dell-Chaib suggests possible avenues for navigating our toxic immersions.
Rebecca Moody reads Eid al Kabir in Fes, Morocco, through the lens of affect theory. The sights, sounds and smells of Eid yield the circulation of “sticky” affect that, as it touches each participant and observer, in turn renders them sticky and therein “(re)surfaces” their material bodies. Moody argues that affect theory offers a unique approach to the study of material religion, specifically Islam, by combining the materiality of the human body with the “textures” of affect that circulate around Islam in its different, quotidian expressions.
Rebecca Moody narrates her impressions of commodification and consumption during Ramadan in Fes, Morocco, through a series of ‘still lifes’. By paying attention to the power of the ordinary as affects and traces, Moody encourages us to pause and contemplate how the sacred and the secular are mixed in daily life. Never separated, they flow into each other, carried by the everyday struggles and celebrations of bodies and minds in this sacred month in the Islamic calendar.
Alexandra Antohin uses the material analogy of the Ethiopian tabot to explore alternative dispositions to waiting and indeterminacy. She explores how ‘moving foundations’ of the home and church facilitate conditions of sustaining instability. This thought-provoking discussion considers how dilemmas of displacement and the manipulation of time during crises, such as urban resettlement, can revise sociocultural assumptions about the march of time as moving fast and forward.