The Finger and the Moon Blog

Posts Tagged ‘faiths’

The Faith-Based Theater Cycle: Cornerstone Company

Posted on: November 25th, 2012 by Liuba 1 Comment

Cornerstone Theater Company is a multiethnic ensemble-based theater company. Since its founding in 1986, Cornerstone has pursued a mission of inclusion by creating a theater that builds bridges between and within diverse communities. In their words, “We believe society can flourish only when its members know and respect one another, and that we have a responsibility to make theater in this spirit.” Cornerstone productions have consistently engaged civic dialogue. Their biracial Romeo and Juliet in Mississippi helped spark and support dialogue about de facto racial segregation of the public and private schools. Since they moved to Los Angeles in 1992, Cornerstone has worked to build bridges in their home city. The Faith-Based Theater Cycle provided an opportunity for Cornerstone to engage multiple communities around a powerful and often challenging theme—and to work in depth, over time, and with cumulative impact.

Having witnessed the bombing of a local Jewish community center, and having seen how quickly Islamic fundamentalists were blamed for the Oklahoma City bombing, Cornerstone felt the acute need for a faith-based project on a civic as well as a personal level. “In fact,” they reflected with foresight in 2000, “faith-based civic issues get at the messy heart of the founding of the nation.” The Faith-Based Theater Cycle was just unfolding when the September 11 terror attacks took place, and the event provided a new context and urgency for an exploration of “how faith unites and divides American society.”
The Faith-Based Theater Cycle is ambitious in scope and diversity. The four-and-a-half–year project began with a Festival of Faith, a trial by fire involving 21 productions at five religious venues, and an audience-participatory ensemble production, Zones, that was later remounted to incorporate audience feedback. Three multiweek series of dialogues called Weekly Wednesdays, with the themes of ritual, believing, and social justice, preceded and followed the festival. Six community collaborations and productions included immigrant Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus; African American clergy with African American people infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS; and multifaith gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender participants.

read more: cornerstone_case_study



The Finger and the Moon # 3 collective performance photos

Posted on: November 15th, 2012 by Liuba 1 Comment

Genoa, sept 29, 2012, Deconsacrated Gothic Church of S.Agustin Museum

After a year of site specific research and networking in the city of Genoa by the Italian artist Liuba supported by anthropologist Barbara Caputo, 12 people of different spiritual faith and beliefs participated with Liuba in the collective performance, curated by Alessandra Gagliano Candela.

Dopo una lavoro di ricerca antropologica e di contatti sul campo durato circa un anno e portato avanti dall’artista insieme all’aiuto dell’antropologa Barbara Caputo e della curatrice Alessandra Gagliano Candela, hanno partecipato alla performance collettiva insieme col’artista Liuba 12 persone di diverse fedi religiose e cammini spirituali.

Participants met with Liuba into the Deconsacrated Church a few hours before the performance began.The artist explained the importance of everyone feeling well, relaxed and free during the performance; being part of a performance is not like acting in the theater rather it is being natural and true. All the people involved were free to meditate and act in any way he or she liked, needing only to keep in mind simple logistical/spatial rules previously decided upon.

I partecipanti si sono incontrati con Liuba nella chiesa sconsacrata alcune ore prima della performance. Liuba ha sottolineato che era importante che ciascuno fosse sè stesso e agisse con naturalezza e spontaneità, poichè si trattava di una performance e non di uno spettacolo teatrale. Ciascuno era libero di meditare e pregare nella maniera a lui più appropriata, condividendola con gli altri, e rispettando soltanto alcune semplici indicazioni di regia spaziale.

Participants introduced themselves to the others, explaining their reasons for taking part in this important piece of performance art and symbolic faith sharing event.

Ciascuno ha condiviso le motivazioni per cui aveva scelto di essere parte della performance e di meditare insieme a persone di diverse appartenenze religiose. Ogni partecipante era ben consapevole di essere parte di un’opera d’arte e al tempo stesso di un evento simbolicamente importante sulla strada dell’accettazione e del rispetto delle varie spiritualità.

The collective performance began with all the participants on the steps of the church’s apse breathing in unison; respiration is a universal need that is common to all people, religious or otherwise.

La performance collettiva è cominciata con tutti i partecipanti sulla grande scalinata che respiravano insieme. Il respiro è un bisogno e una pratica che unisce tutti gli uomini di ogni diversa provenienza e spiritualità.

Then Liuba descended into the nave, moving among the public and praying various prayers of many religions. On her ad hoc oufit were images of several places of worship, temples and churches in New York City. The participants then descended, one by one, into the nave while meditating individually in their own, personal ways. There was music composed for the event by Liuba which mixes together some sacred music of various religions and video projections of the Finger and the Moon project videos #1 and #2.

Quindi Liuba discese nella navata, in mezzo al pubblico, e cominciò a meditare con preghiere di diverse fedi. Sul suo manto-opera erano raffigurati tempi e chiese di differenti religioni. E ad uno a uno, anche gli altri partecipanti discesero nella navata cominciando le loro meditazioni, muovendosi nello spazio con libertà e improvvisazione. C’era una musica composta da Liuba sovrapponendo musica sacra di diverse religioni, e l’installazione dei due video ‘The Finger and the Moon #1 e 2′ all’inizio della navata.

The performance ended with Liuba writing ‘The Finger and The Moon’ sentence on the floor of the church and then leaving the church and entering the real world and everyday life hand-in-hand with all the participants.”

La performance si concluse con Liuba che, dopo aver scritto sul pavimento della navata la frase di Finger and the Moon, raccolse tutti i partecipanti conducendoli per mano fuori dalla chiesa, nel mondo reale, verso la vita di ogni giorno.

see more picture in the website gallery
see more pictures on the project facebook page

read the performance pressrelease

Berlin plans prayer house for three religions

Posted on: November 8th, 2012 by Liuba No Comments

A house of prayer and learning for Jews, Muslims and Christians is planned for Petriplatz in Berlin.

To launch the project, the Jewish Community of Berlin, the Abraham Geiger College Potsdam, the Forum for Intercultural Dialogue and the Evangelical Church Association St. Petri-St. Marien founded an official association called The House of Prayer and Learning at Petriplatz Berlin.

Inter-religious dialogue

The new building should rise from the foundations of the former Church of St. Petri in Berlin Mitte. Three different spaces are planned in which prayer services for Jews, Christians and Muslims can be held. The three spaces will be joined by a hall where festivals and possibly even religious ceremonies can be celebrated together.

The jury awarded the first prize to the Berlin architect office Kuehn Malvezzi. Their winning design takes inspiration from the structure of the former Church of St. Petri. With its light brick façades and a 44-meter (144-foot) high tower, the proposed prayer house looks a bit like a fortress.

But slick geometric forms are to dominate the interior, and a two-storey domed hall will serve as a shared learning space.

“The fourth space constitutes a public space stretching between the three religions. It is a space for understanding and debate. Dialogue has something to do with a certain type of limitation. The project also aims to show where the differences lie,” one of the architects, Wilfried Kuehn, told DW.

An exhibition, pictured here, currently shows the plans for the proposed House of Prayer and Learning
An exhibition currently shows the plans for the proposed House of Prayer and Learning


The former Church of St. Petri
The former Church of St. Petri
Archeological treasures

Gregor Hohberg, minister at the Evangelical Church Association St. Petri-St. Marien and chairman of the Petriplatz association, is pleased with the design. But he emphasizes that an “amalgamation” of religions is not really intended, rather “we want much more to learn how to approach one another with dignity and respect.”

Today, Petriplatz is little more than a fenced-in piece of scrubland. Until five years ago, the site was a miserable-looking car park. One lonely street sign read, “Petriplatz.” But that changed when the land was cleared in 2007.

The Finger and the Moon #3 performance. First impressions

Posted on: November 2nd, 2012 by Liuba No Comments


(italiano in fondo)

I have to be honest: I’ve been very very happy for the results of the collective performance in Genoa and for the enthusisastic participation of people, either as performers and as public. It has been a long long work of preparation, taking more than one year long, from the idea of the project to the curator and museum involment and agreements,  from the anthropological research and contact of various religious groups in the city to the performance outfit creation and production, from the performance direction to the set up of the installation. It has been a long work, helped by people who worked, volunteered and donated founds to accomplish this goal. Integration and acceptance of different religions, spiritual importance in life, with an artistic – and neutral – point of view.

I find it very interesting to bring art into the city, into the people’s life and to gather people to be part of the performance and the piece. Performance art it’s not theatre, everypeople were here not to act but to be natural and spontaneusly themselves.

There has been many difficolt and tough moments as well as many problems and obstacles. The game was not easy, and the objective was very high and ambitious. Many people were interested in the idea, but it was not so as much easy to accept to participate to the performance sharing place and meditations with people of different faiths.

I had 12 people performing with me, and among them there were muslims, baha’i, sikk,  hindu, jewish, christians, atheists, pacifists. Many people and groups did approve and adhere to the project but could not be present on that day, and many other people participated as public, sharing emotions and energy.

It has been a very intense experience for everybody. I am happy and a bit proud too. the task was not easy and we win.

Devo essere sincera: sono stata molto contenta dell’esito della performance collettiva che abbiamo fatto a Genova e dell’adesione entusiasta di molte persone. E’ stato un lavoro lungo più di un anno, dall’ideazione al coinvolgimento del curatore e del Museo, dalla ricerca antropologica al lavoro sul campo, dalla strutturazione alla regia.

Mi interessa molto lavorare in progetti dove la gente comune, gli abitanti di un posto, diventano i protagonisti e i cointerpreti della performance. Mi piace l’idea di un’arte che è fatta di persone, in cui ciascuno diventa parte dell’opera. In più, se aggiungiamo che queste persone che mi ero ripromessa di portare a partecipare alla performance dovevano essere di diverse fedi religiose e di diversi credo, si vede subito come questo progetto non fosse così facile e anzi molto ambizioso.

Ci sono stati momenti molto difficili, di sconforto, di fatica, di dubbi e di ostacoli. Però diciamo che non potevo e non volevo lasciar perdere, per la forza con cui credevo in questo progetto, ma anche in onore di quei donatori che hanno contribuito a sostenere il progetto, chi con poco chi con molto. per cui ho continuato a tirarmi su le maniche, stringere i denti e lottare, con l’aiuto di molte persone, e devo ringraziare tutti se il bersaglio è stato centrato e la performance riuscita, con pure molta partecipazione (dato l’argomento delicato del progetto la realizzazione della performance non era assolutamente scontata…)

A fare la performance insieme a me sono venute 12 persone, tra le cui musulmani, baha’i, sikk, induisti, ebrei, cristiani, atei, pacifisti. Molte persone sono venute come pubblico, partecipando emotivamente all’evento dall’esterno, lasciandosi coinvogere dalle videoinstallazioni e dalla performance. Molti altri hanno aderito ma per impegni personali non hanno potuto essere presenti quella sera.

E’ stata un’esperienza umana, emotiva, spirituale e artistica molto intensa per tutti. Sono felice e sono anche un pizzico orgogliosa, poichè posso dire che è stata una vittoria.

The Finger and the Moon #3 in Genoa on Saturday September 29, 2012

Posted on: September 27th, 2012 by Liuba 3 Comments


On September 29 2012 at 9:30 p.m. on the occasion of “Giornate Europee del Patrimonio 2012”, in the deconsecrated church of San’ Agostino, in Genoa, a part of the same museum complex, “The Finger and the Moon 3” Liuba (Net) will take place. The third part of ‘The Finger and the Moon Project, began in 2007, at the opening of the Biennale of Venice, and continued in 2009 in Piazza San Pietro in the Vatican (curated by Luca Panaro with streaming in art galleries around the world) will take place in Genoa and constitutes an important and original development.
“The Finger and the Moon”, in fact reflects, on spirituality on our society, on the affinity between different forms of prayer, on religious freedom and respect for every form of religion, on the limits and dangers of fanaticism and of the closing of dialogue. Diverse religious groups will take part in “Finger and the Moon 3”, that will meditate together in a collective performance.
The event, curated by Alessandra Gagliano Candela, is preceded by almost a year of work on the mapping of the territory on the part of the artist and by the anthropologist Barbara Caputo, who established a direct rapport with different religious communities in the area, directly involving the inhabitants of the city.
The church of Sant’ Agostino, a rich container of history and life, lends itself particularly well to the realization of this performance/rite of great emotional and conceptual impact: the interior will host a video-installation that shows the videos of the two preceding stages of the project, while members of diverse religions pray in the nave of the ancient religious building. Liuba is wearing a new art work/clothing fruit of the collaboration between her and the stylist Elisabetta Bianchetti.
Integrated into the project is a special web site and multi-religious and multicultural blog that support the future of the project (, serving, also, as a platform for an eventual dialogue between the community and project participants. Following the performance there will be a publication and an exhibition in the Museum.
Liuba (NET) is the name chosen by the artist to maintain her identity as an artist and to underline and thank the network of people who collaborate, support, witness and contribute to her project, without which the work would not be possible.
In particular, for The Finger and the Moon 3 I would like to thank : Adelmo Taddei, Director of the Sant’Agostino Museum, Gianna Caviglia, The City of Genova, Alessandra Gagliano Candela, project curator, Barbara Caputo, anthropologist, Elisabetta Bianchetti, stylist and project costume producer, Pat Veriepe, web developer, Francesca Agrati, assistant to the artist, Carlo Timossi, technical and organization help and Claude Adrian Caponetto, translator.
Many thanks to the donators P. Alessio Saccardo, for his generous contribution which allowed us to to realize the project and to Daniele Cabri and Nadia Antoniazzi, Annalisa Cevenini, Cecilia Freschini, Francesca Agrati, Geneviève Saya Brillet, Michel Duchesneau for their support, not just economic.

Giornate Europee del Patrimonio 2012 Museo di Sant’Agostino, Piazza Sarzano, 35 R – 16128 Genova
Tel. 010 2511263 ; fax 010 2464516