Art praxis as tactical ritual process (Sacerludus: sacredgame)
Maule, Graham Alexander
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Sacerludus, a performative (textual) art work in its own right, provides a self-reflexive ground against which to analogically consider art praxis as a tactical ritual process. Drawing on the distinction between Ritual (generatively, subjunctive ‘as-if’ in character), and Ceremony (descriptively, indicative ‘as-is’ in character), Victor Turner’s work on ritual liminality is applied as core theoretical concept: this generates the seeds and models of future society. Alongside the socio-political bias that liminality carries in bricolaged, makeshift and sensory orchestration, de Certeau’s concept of tactics is enlisted to reinforce potentials of counter-cultural resistance and subversivity. ‘What is Ritual?’ is considered before dealing with art praxis in its situated, exhibitional contexts, as they draw on ritual tactics. Art praxis and production is proposed as a subjunctively performative, ritual occasion, in opposition to the traditional conception as indicative, autonomous object. The contemporary form of installation is explored to reveal its incarnate implications for performative participation. The ritual approaches tactics and processes adopted in conceiving and executing the works are articulated, before, in a form of post-scripted lettering, the contexted concerns of the submitted works are addressed. Sacerludus concludes that the framework of Ritual can be productively foregrounded in art praxis, as in its subversive-loading, it engages a participatively inclusive, generatively resistant process for contemporary aesthetic production.