Sarah Zapata
Of This World Rather

March 8 - April 14, 2019

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So often I dream of eating my tears, the salt nourishing each step forward. I imagine the liquid being absorbed into my body, departing my intestines as a prism, showing the triumph of turbulences past. Ancient Hebrew had no word for color, the singular form was simply translated to an eye. Colors are named individually, but there was no specific term to name the property of light. I don’t remember if my dreams are in color. After visiting my family in Piura, I traveled alone down the coast to Chiclayo. There, surrounded by huacas, a few days before Independence Day, I came to Lambayeque. The Quechua believe that every object has two spirits: one to create it, and one to animate it. These spirits are invoked for an object to function.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather. I wrestle with worldly philosophy, desiring fortitude from the pervasiveness of self doubt. There is patience and tension, I am bound to this world. Here it is the action of in-between, that is devotion, uncertainty, and movement.

In his obituary, Norman Vincent Peale is quoted as saying that “a sense of guilt is important. Too much guilt is unhealthy, though.” Peale’s brand of christianity exemplified positivity, self accomplishment, and capitalism, rather than sin and hellfire as the foundation of the pilgrim’s conscience. The former reverend of Marble Collegiate Church, Peale moved through American conservative politics, and began demystifying psychology in the baby boomer era. Instead of preaching of fire and brimstone, he instead used the language of advertising, covert bigotry, and simplistic mysticism. At Marble Collegiate Church is an inlaid stone labyrinth used for walking meditations that was added to the church in the 21st century.

Here is a space comprised of barred images, used both to designate and protect. Forbidden by old testament text, striped cloth was seen as untrustworthy. Thus from the medieval period and onward, striped clothing was used to designate poor people, prostitutes, rebels, and other outcasts of society.

I was watching television the other evening, and there was a point where the villain spoke about how he had no remorse over his actions. He equated guilt with societal control, a means to teach each individual the weight of being wrong. Guilt is invisible. I find that guilt is a concept that is very pervasive: was that not one of the many points of Adam and Eve? She brought on human’s demise, was to be punished for the rest eternity because her actions disobeyed authority. In Adam’s dying words, he curses Eve, even though he succumbed by his own volition.

Sarah Zapata (b. 1988, Corpus Christi, TX, USA) has been exhibited at the New Museum (NY), El Museo del Barrio (NY), Museum of Art and Design (NY), Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (NY), Boston University (MA), LAXART (CA), Deli Gallery (NY), Arsenal Contemporary (NY), EFA Project Space (NY), Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center (NY). Zapata has also completed residencies at MASS MoCA (MA), A-Z West (CA), and Wave Hill (NY), and is the recent recipient of an NFA Project Grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. Zapata was an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Arts and Design in 2016. Of This World Rather is Zapata’s second solo exhibition with Deli Gallery.