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'The Window of the Breath Which Lets in the Divine' by Benjamin Asam Kellogg & Brigid Moore at Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

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Installation view
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg & Brigid Moore, Mat of Masters Meditation Mantra (garden view), 2018 / Benjamin Asam Kellogg, Stargate of the Red Goddess Flower, 2018
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg, Stargate of the Red Goddess Flower, 2018
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg, Stargate of the Red Goddess Flower (detail), 2018
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg & Brigid Moore, Mat of Masters Meditation Mantra (detail), 2018
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg & Brigid Moore, Mat of Masters Meditation Mantra (detail), 2018
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg & Brigid Moore, Mat of Masters Meditation Mantra ( garden detail), 2018
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Installation view
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg, Garden of the Night Queen, 2018
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg, Garden of the Night Queen (detail), 2018
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Installation view
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Brigid Moore, Pamina Descending, 2018
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Brigid Moore, Pamina Rising, 2018
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg, Neon Poppy, 2018
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg, Reference file: Stargate of the Red Goddess Flower, 2018
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Benjamin Asam Kellogg, Reference file: Garden of the Night Queen, 2018

Aleph = א (the most high and divine) He = ה (the window of the breath)

AH = הא (the window of the breath which lets in the divine)

Ah is the sound one makes during meditation to connect with spirits and reach a higher consciousness.

Red Poppies

A timeless sacred herb, doorway to the drowsy realm, bringer of sleep and prophetic dreams, soother of pain and emotional agony, poppies have been seen to represent death as a period of tranquil slumber due to the sedative effect of the plant’s sap. The association with death is reinforced by the red petals of the poppy that symbolize blood. One of the most ancient plants of culture they have been a companion to humanity throughout history and intimately connected with rights of passage to the un- derworld. Psychotropic properties play a special role within ceremonial ritual contexts; the magical plant allows humans to transcend the mundane concerns of the Earth and to commune with the Gods. Poppy usage has taken on a more sinister role in the modern era leading to the ruin of many who drink her milk.

War Memoriam, Remembrance Day

According to the popular customs of observing countries, Remembrance Day recalls the official cessation of World War I hos- tilities, putting an end to the war “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.” Celebrated annually on November 11th, the holiday carries on the tradition of wearing an artificial red poppy pin, symbolizing the great quantities of poppies that grew across some of the worst battlefields, over scorched earth and dead soldiers. Their color became symbolic of all the blood spilled in war times.

Queen of Night in “Die Zauberflöte”

In Mozart’s The Magic Flute, an opera inspired by enlightenment philosophy, the Queen of the Night is jealous of the high priest Sarastro for bearing the sign of the sun, spreading daylight and holding providence over all waking life. The Queen of the Night seeks to fool prince Tamino into rescuing her daughter Pamina from captivity under the high priest’s banner of sunshine, but she can only interact with humans of the earthly realm when they are asleep or entranced. Every time the queen appears and spreads her dark curtain over the kingdom a field of red poppies immediately bloom all around her, putting everyone into a deep sleep.

Goddess Worship, Poppy Goddess

It is suggested that the poppy goddess is “the bringer of sleep and death” or that she represents a drug-induced peace and for- getfulness.The Cretian figurine “poppy goddess” (c.1500 b.c.) wears a crown of three, unbloomed poppy pods and stands in pose with both hands raised, indicating that she is a deity gazing toward the viewer. Her two raised open palms form the epiph- any gesture of the goddess, symbolizing her appearance in Earth in human form. The brilliant red flowers were used in Greco- Roman myths as offerings to the dead, their bright scarlet color signifing the promise of resurrection after death.

Wizard of OZ

The Wicked Witch of the West watches Dorothy from a distance through a crystal oculus, after laying many traps to stop her from reaching OZ (ah’s). The Wicked Witch decides to stop her with a poison-induced sleep; she waves a red-stained pestle over her crystal ball, creating a whole field of red flowers to grow. Beyond the perimeter of the dark and scary woods, Dorothy and her symbolic doppelgänger friends all see the hyper vertical shimmering skyline of Emerald City in the distance and the infinite rolling pasture of vibrant red poppies in between. In excitement they run full speed through the flowers and inhale the airborne sap. All of the characters who are not made of inanimate objects cannot stay awake; they are eventually saved by Glenda the East Witch who creates a snowfall to kill the flowers.

2.6.18 — 4.7.18

Alyssa Davis

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