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James Case-Leal, Radical Spirit

Lutheran Church of the Messiah
129 Russell Street, (718) 389-0854
September 28 - October 2, 2010
Reception: Tuesday, September 28, 6 - 9 PM
Web Site

Announcing Radical Spirit, a pirate television broadcast, monumental sculpture, and video installation by James Case-Leal built inside the sanctuary of Lutheran Church of the Messiah in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It will be open to the public September 28 – October 2. The broadcast signal will be receivable by the local public on their television sets on analog channel 17 during these times. Please join us for a performance and opening reception on Tuesday, September 28 from 6 to 9pm.

Video projections transform the church’s ceiling into a modern Sistine Chapel, glowing like an open sky ?lled with images of people ascending against the backdrop of New York City. Flooded beneath the video’s light, a monumental sculpture fills the church sanctuary floor. Bursting up and through the pews, radiant towers transmit a ghostly television signal beaming out to the surrounding neighborhood.

Seen only through televisions receiving the pirate broadcast, Case-Leal, hidden high in the church’s bell tower, dismantles magazines, meticulously rebinding the pages end to end, and hand rolling them into scrolls. For the duration of the exhibition the artist sits in the bell tower monastically creating these scrolls, periodically bringing them down to the reside on the parlor level below. The artist becomes messenger handing down the word, the promethean flame of civilization, but these sacred texts are ours already.

Through this transmission, bodies become ghosts who pierce walls; entering the street, nearby homes, and the spaces outside this sanctuary. They offer new communion ready to be picked up by any willing receiver.

Radical Spirit offers us a vision into an alternative now, a piece of paradise brought from the future of another reality. It confronts apocalyptic visions that imagine the only possible utopia as one found after death. Rather than a piece of the immaterial afterlife, the Radical Spirit offer a relic from a utopic future world.
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