press release

Feeling blessed to relocate to a Chelsea ground floor space at 534 West 24th Street, Andrea Meislin re-launches the gallery with a group show featuring nineteen artists whose photographs capture Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists practicing rituals of prayer across the world – including in China, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Ukraine, and the United States.

Prayer – begging and bargaining, praising and giving thanks, seeking enlightenment and serenity, confessing and repenting, and hedging bets for the afterlife - is one act that is practiced across all nations, cultures, and beliefs. The greater force to which it is directed varies as much as the ritual, both private and public, and in its volume and form – from belting out song to reciting incantations to silent meditation. For some, prayer is deeply entrenched into their daily lives, even the focus; for others, it’s a last ditch effort when all hope is lost.

Devotional acts take many physical forms -- Jackie Nickerson’s painterly photograph of an Irish nun in a statue-like pose on her knees, Lili Almog’s female imam on a prayer mat in the unexpected locale of the Chinese countryside, Orit Ben Shitrit’s messiah-like evangelist, speaking in a fictional language of despair, shows it’s not always what they say but how they deliver it, Andrea Stern’s boys preparing for choir, and the trust in water’s healing powers in both Mark Steinmetz and Noel Jabbour’s river baptismal scenes.

There’s a sense of incongruence between traditional culture and modern society in Liu Zheng’s image of a contemporary Chinese monk in an ancient setting, and Barry Frydlender’s photograph of Hasidic men on a pilgrimage wearing ancestral garb and using cell phones. Assembled from numerous shots and revealing artificiality with its inconsistencies, the work prompts us to contemplate ideas of tradition and modernism through both content and form.

only in german

A Prayer is a Prayer is a Prayer

Künstler: Lili Almog, Ourit Ben-Haim, Orit Ben-Shitrit, Rina Castelnuovo, Michal Chelbin, Blake Eskin, Barry Frydlender, Noel Jabbour, Leora Laor, Naomi Leshem, Loretta Lux, Jackie Nickerson, Sebastião Salgado, Pentti Sammallahti, Mark Steinmetz, Andrea Stern, Angela Strassheim, Sharon Ya'ari, Liu Zheng