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The Oblate Cycle (2014)

Pioneers Go East Collective
Year Grant Awarded 2013

Email > /
State > NY Zip Code > 10003
Website >

THE OBLATE CYCLE: Hildegard (Vision) and Maria Celeste (Galileo)- opera installations presented in gallery and theater spaces that are about cloistered nuns in Medieval and Renaissance society. With its connection to women’s rights and disparate performance modes with a focus on new music and multimedia, the two works presented educate the public on topical social issues:

Hildegard is a live video opera installation with found-object puppetry & animation; Hildegard experienced divine visions that formed the basis of her metaphysical texts, drawings and music, and which scientists say were in fact typical migraine aura.

Maria Celeste is an interactive opera installation with projected art and motion inspired by the solar system; Maria was the daughter of Galileo, who helped him to transcribe his famous, and at the time, controversial discoveries of the universe, despite being a cloistered nun. The piece will contrast the rigid and mediated world of the convent with the expansive notion of scientific discovery, to illustrate Maria’s dreams of a freer life.

Re-imagined in modern day, both stories that comprise the CYCLE are meditations on the confines of gender, otherness, agency, and access. The CYCLE’s two pieces present the cloister as an immersive environment and as a symbol for the barriers that must be overcome in striving towards self-actualization, while charting the spiritual journeys of women who were opposed by their contemporaries, and illustrate their accomplishments both as creative and spiritual leaders.

Maria Celeste (Galileo) excerpt: / Hildegard (vision) excerpt: