(Baroque) Art Mosque (Christoph Büchel)

mosque

Christoph Büchel, turned Santa Maria della Misericordia,  a disused church in the heart of Venice, into a functioning mosque to serve as Iceland’s national pavilion for the Venice Biennale. Excluded from the town center, members of the local community have been invited to use the place for the duration of the Biennale. You can read about it here. “Its Baroque walls [have been] adorned with Arabic script, its floor covered with a prayer rug angled toward Mecca and its crucifix mosaics hidden behind a towering mihrab, or prayer niche.” About the local reaction, you can read here. It’s an installation about big things like religion, migration, marginalization, change and transformation, even as it touches upon the Islamic influence on the history and architecture of Venice. To this reader, the installation cannot help but evoke the memory of that city’s Jewish ghetto far away from the center of town.

mosque2

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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