Religion and science are, to say the least, not the best of friends. You've got creationism versus evolution, the stem-cell controversy, and don't even get either side started on abortion. It would seem as if there's little room to reach consensus between the spiritual and the scientific, but Peruvian-born, Miami-based artist William Cordova tries to bridge the gap, nonetheless.
In his new site-specific installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cordova fuses urban culture with the ancient spirituality of his Andean homeland -- or at least, that's what the artist ostensibly set out to do. To us, it looks like he just took a pile of speakers, lined them up, and called it art.
The "ritual space" was created by Cordova by taking found objects such as the aforementioned speakers as well as drum kits and other noisemakers and setting them up to produce "a sensuous space imbued with golden reflections and mysterious rhythms," as the museum's press release so eloquently puts it. Cordova cites the history and his own memories of ancient Andean sites such as Machu Picchu as influences in the work, as well as Miami areas like Overtown, Little Haiti, and Opa-locka. Our philistine minds fail to make the connection between a wall of speakers and Little Haiti, much less Machu Picchu. But, hey, we've never been accused of being art experts -- we'll let New Timesart critic Michael Mills give the installation, titled "No More Lonely Nights," the official thumbs up or down. We take our sacred spaces with a grain of salt to begin with; when you attach sacred meaning to a pile of found objects, then you really lose us. Still, we're ready to blame ourselves, not Cordova. His work, after all, often falls into ambiguous territory, which, in the end, is part of its charm.