Artist to discuss photo exhibitions of global rituals

Santaria Ritual Dancers-Cuba, 1990, by David Katzenstein '76
Santaria Ritual Dancers-Cuba, 1990, by David Katzenstein '76

Photographer and Connecticut College alumnus David Katzenstein ’76 will give a talk on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 4:15 p.m. in the galleries of Cummings Arts Center in which he’ll discuss his dual exhibitions currently on view in the galleries of Cummings, “World Views: Ritual and Celebration in Global Culture” and “Islam in Africa: A Pilgrimage to Touba, Senegal.”

In “World Views,” Katzenstein has captured the daily lives and communal rituals of people on five continents, including Hindu ceremonies in rural India, Santeria rituals in Cuba, Zulu dancers in South Africa, Easter processions in Guatemala, Buddhist festivals in Bhutan, Islamic ceremonies in Egypt, Jewish worship in Israel, and shamanism in the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu. His work has been described as “poetic realism.”

In “Islam in Africa,” Katzenstein chronicles the pilgrimage of Mouride, a Sufi brotherhood based in Senegal, who gather in the sacred city of Touba each year to commemorate the seven-year exile imposed on the founder of Mouride by French colonists in 1895.

Katzenstein also document the rituals and celebrations of the Mouride community in Harlem, and has included these photographs in the exhibition.

“Katzenstein's work navigates the space between documentary and personal, emotional observation," said Associate Professor of Art Ted Hendrickson. "It is engaging both visually and intellectually, a nimble exploration of the photographic art and his own curiosity about the world.”

A reception will follow his talk at 5 p.m. The exhibitions are on view through March 6 and are made possible by the Dayton Artist-in-Residence Program. The Cummings Arts Center Galleries are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, contact the Art Department at (860) 439-2740.

February 15, 2013