Alogon Gallery asked Dayton Castleman to curate a show after witnessing a discussion that took place between him and James Elkins on the topic of Christianity and art. Elkins' book On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art speaks to the difficulty that contemporary art discourse has in dealing with religious subject matter and how generally the two are incompatible. We asked Dayton to curate a show that explores this subject and James Elkins to share his thoughts about the show in writing. The interest is not to inspire belief but rather to try and address the issue of belief and ideology in the wake of the post-modern condition, to try and establish a language and dialouge around belief that does not need to always shield itself with either irony or the conceptual aesthetic of neutrality. Is it possible to use the wisdom gained from decades of active deconstruction towards a renewed investigation into the realm of possibility?
In Dayton's words:
The Strange Place is not meant to suggest some kind of final word or solution to the issue (of religion and art). It is impossible to avoid the complexities of language, and I'm not presuming to transcend that difficulty in this show. What this show does is fill a concrete place in contemporary art, a real, material, dimensional space, with the art of religious people. I don't intend the show to operate as a polemic toward some religious end, but as an occurrence that could serve as a discrete point of reference within an ongoing conversation.