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  • The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama

    How does an artist consider the Dalai Lama?

    That question began a journey that has resulted in this exhibition, in which
    79 artists and artist collaborations from around the world have created their
    own individual answers, tapping into their unique journeys and belief
    systems to create visual portraits of how they perceive the Dalai Lama. The
    result is a collective tapestry of images, themes, and media that mirror the
    many roles the Dalai Lama plays within his world and ours: statesman,
    philosopher, politician, holy man, visionary, peacemaker, icon, and more.

    Artists selected were those whose works resonated with the great themes
    and ideals the Dalai Lama embodies: the power of spirituality, the mystery of
    transcendence, universal interconnectedness, the importance of human
    dignity, and the need for peace.

    These themes became the organizing principle of the show. The exhibition
    begins with the more concrete concepts about the Dalai Lama: his appearance,
    beliefs, religion, and homeland. The show then
    circles outward to include increasingly more abstract and universal themes:
    the ideals of human rights, peace, compassion, people in exile, an
    exploration of belief systems, paths of transformation, universal
    responsibility, globalization, and ideas of temporality and impermanence.

    The intent of the show is simultaneously educational, inspirational, and
    transformative; its goal is to both engage and heal. One of the central roles
    of art and the artist is to encourage us to think about the forces that shape
    our lives. The transformative power of art invites us to reflect on our beliefs
    about those forces, and to make the shifts in our perceptions necessary to
    expand them. That is also the purpose of each of the works in this exhibition.

    Early on in this project, Tenzin Tethong, former cabinet member to the
    Tibetan Government in Exile, stated that the goal of the exhibition is not one
    of hero worship or political rhetoric. It is not about the fight for Tibetan
    freedom. And it is not how we can become the Dalai Lama, or walk in his
    footsteps.

    Rather, the exhibition shows how we can walk alongside the Dalai Lama –
    each of us with our own story — and how our stories can interweave with his
    story, all the stories together becoming a new story of human consciousness.


    • Richard Avedon photographic portrait, “His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Monks.


    • Installation image of the sculpture, “Paranirvana”, 7 x 25 x 6 feet, by Lewis deSoto, at The Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu, Romania.


    • he painting by Salustiano, “Reincarnation,” addresses our continued growth, evolution and transformation through reincarnation.


    • Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, “The Scribe,” a chromogenic print, consider the paradox of being human; in order to survive we must destroy.


    • Marble footstool by Jenny Holzer, “IT IS IN YOUR SELF-INTEREST TO FIND A WAY TO BE VERY TENDER” from the Survival Series.


    • Gabriela Morawetz’ “Regarde” provides an aperture and thereby a sense of empathy into the world of others. 


    • Jane Alexanders’ photomontage, “Harbinger with Rainbow” symbolically addresses the relationship between the oppressor and the victim and the need for peace, as seen in her native South Africa.


    • Laurie Anderson, “From the Air” is a video projection onto clay figures with sound, recalling how things had changed after 9/11.


    • Curator Randy Jayne Rosenberg meeting with the Dalai Lama to discuss the exhibition in Dharamsala, India. 

    Exhibition Statement

    How does an artist consider the Dalai Lama?
     
    That question began a journey that has resulted in this exhibition, in which
    79 artists and artist collaborations from around the world have created their
    own individual answers, tapping into their unique journeys and belief
    systems to create visual portraits of how they perceive the Dalai Lama. The
    result is a collective tapestry of images, themes, and media that mirror the
    many roles the Dalai Lama plays within his world and ours: statesman,
    philosopher, politician, holy man, visionary, peacemaker, icon, and more.
     
    Artists selected were those whose works resonated with the great themes
    and ideals the Dalai Lama embodies: the power of spirituality, the mystery of
    transcendence, universal interconnectedness, the importance of human
    dignity, and the need for peace.
     
    These themes became the organizing principle of the show. The exhibition
    begins with the more concrete concepts about the Dalai Lama: his appearance,
    beliefs, religion, and homeland. The show then
    circles outward to include increasingly more abstract and universal themes:
    the ideals of human rights, peace, compassion, people in exile, an
    exploration of belief systems, paths of transformation, universal
    responsibility, globalization, and ideas of temporality and impermanence.
     
    The intent of the show is simultaneously educational, inspirational, and
    transformative; its goal is to both engage and heal. One of the central roles
    of art and the artist is to encourage us to think about the forces that shape
    our lives. The transformative power of art invites us to reflect on our beliefs
    about those forces, and to make the shifts in our perceptions necessary to
    expand them. That is also the purpose of each of the works in this exhibition.
     
    Early on in this project, Tenzin Tethong, former cabinet member to the
    Tibetan Government in Exile, stated that the goal of the exhibition is not one
    of hero worship or political rhetoric. It is not about the fight for Tibetan
    freedom. And it is not how we can become the Dalai Lama, or walk in his
    footsteps.
     
    Rather, the exhibition shows how we can walk alongside the Dalai Lama –
    each of us with our own story — and how our stories can interweave with his
    story, all the stories together becoming a new story of human consciousness.

    Venues

    UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles, 2006
    Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago, 2006
    Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2007
    Emory University Visual Arts Gallery, Atlanta, 2007
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, 2007
    Tomorrowland, Tokyo, Japan, 2008
    Fundacion Canal, Madrid, Spain, 2009
    The Frost Museum, Florida International University, 2009-2010
    Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu, Romania, 2010
    Nobel Museum, Stockholm, Sweden, 2010-2011
    San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas, 2011

     

    Participating Artists

    Marina Abramovic, Seyed Alavi, Jane Alexander, El Anatsui, Laurie Anderson, Ken Aptekar, Richard Avedon, Kirsten Bahrs Janssen, Chase Bailey, Tayseer Baraket, Sanford Biggers, Phil Borges, Dove Bradshaw, Guy Buffet, Dario Campanile, Andy Cao, Squeak Carnwath, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Chuck Close, Constantino Ciervo, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Long-Bin Chen, Bernard Cosey, Santiago Cucullu, Binh Danh, Lewis de Soto, Filippo di Sambuy, Era and Don Farnsworth, Peig Fairbrook and Adele Fox, Spencer Finch, Sylvie Fleury, Louis Fox, Adam Fuss, Juan Galdeano, Rupert Garcia, Robin Garthwait and Dan Griffin, Richard Gere, Losang Gyatso, H. M. Harrison & Newton Harrison, Jim Hodges, David and Hi-Jin Hodge, Jenny Holzer, Tri Huu Luu, Ichi Ikeda, Yoko Inoue, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Jesal Kapadia, Anish Kapoor, Kimsooja, Nefeli Massia, Yumyo Miyasaka, Gabriela Morawetz, Kisho Mukaiyama, Tom Nakashima, Dang Ngo, Michele Oka Doner, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Susan Plum, Rosemary Rawcliffe, Michal Rovner, Tenzin Rigdol, Salustiano, Sebasti‹o Salgado, Andra Samelson, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Arlene Shechet, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Mike and Doug Starn, Pat Steir, Hoang Van Bui, Adriana Varej‹o, Bill Viola, Inkie Whang, William Wiley, Katarina Wong, Yuriko Yamaguchi, and Negishi Yoshiro.