Documenta II: Religiosity and Civilization

Exhibition runs from October 26, 2018 – January 4, 2019


Religiosity responds to the religious activity, devotion and belief of each person. It is the inner reflection that each believer offers about what he venerates in a spiritual way.

Documenta, an annual exhibition that Latin American Art Pavilion has created as a social message through the visual arts. This year 2018 the theme has been “Religiosity & Civilization”.

LAAP to address this broad and complicated issue that affects social life, the philosophical world and the religious aspect of the human being has focused on different religious expressions through the artist’s vision of contemporary visual arts. For this, photographers and their record of different religious scenes and the interpretation of the painters have been gathered. The result is a great mosaic of faith that although its rituals are specific to each of the religious beliefs, they all point towards the same goal: the worldview of the world through the different human communities that create the varied cultures and that condition and define the social and philosophical development of the individual.

Anaibis Yero
LAAP Art Curator


The baobab trees (Adansoniadigitata) are one of the most amazing trees one can encounter in Africa. It is a succulent, which means that during the rainy season it absorbs and stores water in its vast trunk, enabling it to produce a nutrient-dense fruit in the dry season when all around is dry and arid. This is how it became known as “The Tree of Life”. In Mozambique, baobab trees also are places where the spirits of ancestors are called. The trees are therefore considered sacred and offer protection to anyone fleeing persecution or violence during wars.

The Father Matthew Lajedo is a rock formation located in Cabaceiras in the state of Paraíba (Brazil).Legend says that Father Matthew was a healer hermit that lived in the flagstones around the 18th century. Many people come to him to consult. He did not charge money for their cures, just food. Because of this hermit is that of Father Matthew flagstone has this name.

The Church of the Holy Sepulche, also called the Church of the Resurrection or Church of the Anastasis is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, at a place known as “Calvary” or “Golgotha”, and Jesus’s empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected.

Bethesda Terrace Arcade is the arched, interior walkway in the Center Park of New York. This project was created by the English immigrates to NY to establish a site that would serve as a cultural reunion and spiritual peace to their community. The arcade was designed in the mid1860s by Calvert Vaux and his assistant Jacob WreyMould. The ceiling features more than 15,000 colorful, patterned encaustic tiles, made by England’s famous Minton Tile Company, originally used on floors of European cathedrals, are made of colored clays which are inlaid and fired to form the design. The motifs of the tiles are part of the Victorian style and Moorish. There are forty-nine panels in the ceiling, each comprised of more than 350 tiles. The theme represented the four seasons of the year. The function of the site was to serve as a place of rest and meditation to stimulate spiritual peace. Bethesda Arcade is the only place in the world where these special tiles are used for a ceiling.

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 meters (220 yd.) underground in a halite mountain near the town of Zipaquirá, in CundinamarcaColombia.

The crimson-red arches of the descending tunnel in combination with the dramatic lighting and intensive taste of 135 years old salt from the prayer stools, alert you to test the spiritual condition of your body and soul.

Years before the underground church was built (around 1932), the miners had carved a sanctuary as a place for their daily prayers asking for protection to the saints before starting to work.

While clearly devoted to Catholicism, the salt “cathedral” is not recognized by the Church, and has no official status. This doesn’t stop the 3,000+ visitors that come to most Sundays from praising the glory of both god and his mineral-ensconced home.

The cathedral represents a valuable culturalenvironmental and religious patrimony for the Colombian people.

The use of the veil and baggy clothes that cover the entire body of the Muslim woman, responds to surah written in the Koran, and are religious precepts that must be obeyed and practiced by women in society. Says the Koran:

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful”.(Koran 33:59) 

“And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers that you might succeed”. (Koran 24:30-31) 

Shiva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. This Divinity which is the root of this universe is neither male nor female. He is the “destroyer of evil and the transformer” within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. Shiva is the Supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe.According to the Shaivism sect, the highest form of Shiva is formless, limitless, transcendent and unchanging absolute Brahman, and the primal Atman (soul, self) of the universe.

Shiva has many benevolent and fearsome depictions. In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya. In his fierce aspects, he is often depicted slaying demons. Shiva is also known as Adiyogi Shiva, regarded as the patron god of yoga, meditation and arts.

The trident is commonly used as the principal symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism. The trident is the most powerful weapon in the universe according to Hindu mythology.

Saffron is the most sacred color for the Hinduism. Represents fire and as impurities are burnt by fire, this color symbolizes purity. It also represents religious abstinence. This color connotation has a sacred meaning for the Hindu. It is the color of holy men and ascetics who have renounced the world.The image belongs to Vagator beach, North of Goa/South India.

The monastery of the Santa Faz also known as the Veronica monastery , is a cloistered Clarisas monastery located in the Spanish city of Alicante.

The origin dates back to the 15th century, when the then priest of San Juan, Mosén Pedro Mena, received in Rome a venerated canvas of the face of Christ from Jesusalem, as a gift. This religious relic is a piece of cloth used by Veronica to wipe the face of Jesus as he carried his cross, according to the catholic history.

The first documented pilgrimage was celebrated on Friday, March 17, 1489. Alicante suffered a terrible drought, and thousands of citizens went out in pilgrimage with the relic to ask for water and prosperity for the crops. The documented stories of that day tell that the religious P. Villafranca, who transported the canvas during the journey, was paralyzed at a moment of the pilgrimage; feeling like a great weight prevented him from walking. Those who accompanied him said they saw a tear coming out of the right eye of the Holy Face. It rained in Alicante, and since then, the tradition is been kept alive.

Since 2012 it was not snowing in Rome. It was this year 2018 on February 26 that snow fell again. The previous large snowfalls occurred in 1956 and 1986.

The story tells that the “snow miracle” dates back to August 5, 358, during the reign of Pope Liberius, in which the pontiff, a Roman patrician named John and his wife. He dreamed that the Virgin Mary asked him build a church in the place where they would find fresh snow the next day.

The dream occurred in the early morning of August 5, the Roman summer and when the chances of snow are remote in the city of Rome. The snowfall took place miraculously in the Esquilino Hill, and in its perimeter a decade later the first temple dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the West was erected.

Then, Pope Sixtus III built the church in 431 as it is now.

Shortly after the arrival of Christianity to the Roman colony of Barcino, modern-day Barcelona, a small Christian community was started near the sea and just outside its walls. There was a Christian necropolis here where St Eulàlia, martyr, was probably buried in 303 A.D. This site might have been the place where a chapel was first built, known then as Santa Maria de Les Arenes, St. Mary of the Sea Sands. By the end of the seventh century, the existing structure was already known as “Santa Maria del Mar”.

Santa Maria del Mar is a Catholic church built between 1329 and 1383. The last circular keystone, the closest one to the main door, bears the city’s coat of arms and was put in place on 3 November 1383. The church was consecrated by Pere Planella, bishop of Barcelona, on 15 August 1384. Beren- guer de Montagut and Ramon Despuig were the architects in charge of the project.

Over the years, constant social and political turmoil also caused destruction to the basilica. But nothing can be compared with the destruction of the 19th July 1936 when Santa Maria del Mar was set on fire and burned for eleven days straight. The magnificent baroque altar and all the images and historical archive were all destroyed. Only the walls, columns and a few of the stained glass windows on the upper level were spared. The fire didn’t get up that high. Restoration in recent years has further emphasized its elegant and sober Gothic style.

NAGA, (Sanskrit: “serpent”) in HinduismBuddhism, and Jainism, a member of a class of mythical semi divine beings, half human and half cobra. They are a strong, handsome species who can assume either wholly human or wholly serpentine form and are potentially dangerous but often beneficial to humans. They live in an underground kingdom called Naga-loka, or Patala-loka, which is filled with resplendent palaces, beautifully ornamented with precious gems. The creator deity Brahma relegatedthe nagas to the nether regions when they became too populous on earth and commanded them to bite only the truly evil or those destined to die prematurely. They are also associated with waters—rivers, lakes, seas, and wells—and are guardians of treasure.

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