Dana Kopel

25 June 2024

07:15 EDT

Sol Sistere
curated with Peter Fankhauser
21 December, 2013
TEMP Art Space, New York

Matteah Baim, Peter Fankhauser, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, Raúl de Nieves, Rachel Schuder, Colin Self, Joshua Zucker-Pluda

I molded

my body


you to

hold your

winter to a

sanctum of


—CAConrad, from the (Soma)tic poem QUALM CUTTING AND ASSEMBLAGE (for Tommy)

December 21 – The shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. The most darkness: a space for ritual, for strange spirits to emerge.

Sol Sistere (the Latin origin of the word solstice, meaning sun stands still) is a one-night exhibition of time-based work relating to darkness and the often dark, porous boundaries between the physical and spiritual world. Building on the solstice’s connection to earth-based, non-Christian religious practices and astrology, the exhibition examines art-making as ritual and representation as a metaphysical practice. The durational nature of the work included—installation, performance, film, and projected photographs—reaffirms the role of the solstice as a marker of time passing.

The exhibition also emphasizes the historical association between earth-based, pagan religious practices and queerness. As elaborated in Arthur Evans’ Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture, the demonization of earth-based alternative religions—beginning in early civilizations, and solidified with the advent of Christianity—often occurred concurrently and in close connection with the persecution of (previously acceptable, culturally sanctioned) homosexuality. Drawing on this history, Sol Sistere presents a queered look at, and celebration of, the winter solstice.