MAVCOR Journal

born digital, peer-reviewed

  • Kalzang Dorjee Bhutia
    The Riwo Sangchö is a ritual exchange that facilitates smoky relations between humans and spirits resident in landscapes around the world. Its history, as inspired by the landscape of Sikkim, provides insight into the complex materiality (and, at times, immateriality) of Sikkimese religion and ways that Sikkimese Buddhist communities have historically negotiated environmental change. The resilience of the practice today points to an alternative way of conceiving of multispecies interaction in the Anthropocene and historically contextualized directions for making new opportunities that benefit beings across dimensions.
  • Samantha Baskind
    In 1876, Moses Jacob Ezekiel, the first Jewish American artist of international stature, sculpted the world’s first woman, to which he gave the title, Eve Hearing the Voice. Ezekiel fashioned Eve, the only female nude he ever produced, without a navel. No critic has commented on Eve’s nonexistent navel nor the sculpture’s inventive title. Doing so sheds light on an unexpected variation of a popular theme in the history of western art, precipitated by the artist’s engagement with the original source – compelled by the strength of his observant Jewish upbringing.
  • Marie W. Dallam
    What happens when part of the religious history a person believes in turns out to be incorrect? A dissonance is created that must be addressed through new interpretations of past, present, and possibly the future. This article explores early indicators of a reinvented "chain of memory" unfolding in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—a faith that is itself grounded in a concept of historical restoration—due to a new public understanding of its history of polygamy. Specifically, it considers the example of contemporary visual art that interrogates and rearticulates memories of historical Mormon polygamy as one link in this new chain.
  • Alessandra Amin
    Since its construction around the turn of the twentieth century, Our Lady of Diman has served as the summer residence of the Maronite Catholic Patriarch. The prestige of the building is everywhere apparent: in the inlaid marble floor, in the gold and blue panes of the stained-glass windows. The church’s most remarkable feature, however, is the ceiling over its nave, with frescoes completed in the late 1930s by celebrated Lebanese painter Saliba Douaihy (1913-1994).
  • Jonathan Boyarin
    This Ets Chayim, a Tree of Life, is obsolete, redundant, out of time and out of place. It is detached both from the Torah scroll for which it was made, and from its mate that once served that scroll’s other end. It is not supposed to be here anymore—here, that is, in a transformed, glass-sheathed, twenty-first-century Lower East Side, where the traces of immigrant life have been erased, sanitized, and gathered into museums, or commodified as “atmosphere” for an urban playground. Perhaps the act of marking it—noting its persistence beyond obsolescence, shorn of the text to which it was once an auxiliary, bereft of the hands that once grasped it and the congregation that once stood as it was lifted up—is a minor act of resistance in itself.
  • Didier Aubert
    In Judío, photographer Fernando Brito attempts to find an ad-hoc visual representation for the Yoremem or Mayo Indians in his native state of Sinaloa, Mexico. This portrait pays tribute to the foundational value of the community’s ritual, which combines indigenous cosmology with seventeenth-century Jesuit influence, as crucial to its survival and cohesion.