100 Names Project, Phase Two
[excerpt from press release, February 2002]
Atlanta-based artist Julie Püttgen presents “100 Names Project,” an interactive installation exploring the intersection of sacred and ordinary space. Viewers are invited to come to the opening reception bringing an object of personal significance as an equivalent to exchange for one of 40 handmade shrine-boxes. The installation will be visible in its initial state, on a limited basis, from the 18th till the 22nd of February. Subsequently, participants' equivalents will be on view.
The current exhibition is the culmination of the 100 Names Project, which in its first phase (Spring 2001) centered on a series of 60 shrine-boxes installed in downtown Atlanta shops, restaurants, fishmongeries, beauty salons, libraries, real-estate development offices, and on the trunks of public-park trees. As a whole, these functioned as a litany or walking pilgrimage through daily life, offering the possibility of reverence, community and shared space in the midst of commercial enterprise.
Names” refers to the universal practice of naming the names of
the divine in litanies such as the Catholic Names of the Virgin Mary
and the Muslim 99 Beautiful Names of God. Here, the names of 100 Atlanta
residents born or deceased one year prior to this installation form
a sand mandala covering the entire gallery floor during the initial
state of the installation. The mandala will be destroyed as participants
enter the space to claim their shrines and make their exchanges.