Richard Purdy Stupa: Built & Unbuilt
© R. Purdy, 2003
Vernissage on Saturday, September 13, at 5 pm
Residency from August 25 to September 12, 2003
For twenty-seven years Richard Purdy has been wondering about stupas. Through his art, he has been trying to make sense of something terribly simple. “When you have been on the sacred circuit for a while—visiting 5, 10, 50, 100, 1000 stupas—you begin to notice the characteristics of the stupas you are visiting, the fact that they subtly change from place to place—dagobas, chedis, pagodas, chortens. Stupas seem to represent distinct races, and their distinguishing features evolve over geographical distance. Questions emerge and methodologies are repeated, but then, in a few years, they are abandoned. Masses of stone begin to speak to your deepest self, and curiously, you answer back, attempting a dialogue. All over the world the number of stupa-watchers, stupa builders, stupa worshippers are growing, and tentatively attesting to their fascination.”
Invited by OBORO to participate in an artist’s residence, to build an installation and to create a bookwork, Purdy’s project integrates multiple themes touching on contemporary art and contemporary spirituality.
© R. Purdy, 2003
Tergiversator Richard Purdy has mounted over 100 individual installations on four continents, and participated in 60 group shows. He has created 19 projects in public art, counts 16 books and over 36 catalogues and publications. He is a tenured professor at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, and is a Ph.D. in artistic practice. He has given 204 conferences, and has received 500 reviews and media mentions, including theses in Ph.D. and Master’s grades. Purdy works in interdisciplinary collaboration with scientific teams, an approach he calls artscience. He will be exhibiting at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in 2004, and the Centre Culturel Canadien in Paris in 2005. “Embracing the cultural bulimia of our fin-de-siècle, I try to fuel the fire… delighting in enigmas, searching out obscure subject matter, lies, fictions, and meretricious figures of speech, weaving fictions into them, and teasing them up by the hair.” RP