Banded Artifacts/Paul Oberst and Banded Men/Photographic Collaboration with Patrick McNamara, 2011,
Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport, ME

Installation view: Props/Rockport 8, 2011,
acrylic on wood, each element between
72" to 102" in length by 6" x 6"
(installation measurements vary with installation).
Meeting, collaboration with Patrick McNamara,
archival ultrachrome print, 28" x 38".
"Banded Artifacts/Banded Men"
August-September 2011.

Installation view: Beset, collaboration with Patrick McNamara, 2010, archival ultrachrome
print, 34 5/8" x 48". Tenth Aspect (Courage/Heart), 2011, mixed media, 76" x 38" x 18".
"Banded Artifacts/Banded Men" August-September 2011.

Installation view: Guardian, collaboration with Patrick McNamara, 2010, archival ultrachrome
print, 48" x 34 5/8".
"Banded Artifacts/Banded Men" August-September 2011.

Banded Artifacts / Paul Oberst
Banded Men / Photographic Collaboration with Patrick McNamara

Center for Maine Contemporary Art
Rockland, ME
August-September 2011

Banded Artifacts is an installation of works of contemporary art that explores the line between the sacred and the profane, between art and the functional, between ancient and contemporary, and where we are, where we came from and where we are headed. Paul Oberst has been on a lifelong quest of manifesting in architectural, performance, art and utilitarian expressions, the mythic and sublime wonders and mysteries that baffle and inspire us all. His "temple" is a simple architectural passage for the human spirit and imagination, a portal for possibilities. He does not however describe those possibilities. He provides a platform, a locus for the viewers' own visions to initiate. Likewise, the ceremonial objects, which he visualizes as being temporarily removed from within the sealed temple enclosure, are exhibited so that the viewers might imagine for themselves the transformational function of each work. Oberst's sense is that we each have an understanding of the mystical nature of life, and it is in opening ourselves to universal myths and mysterious possibilities that we access this knowledge.

Banded Men is an ongoing collaboration between Oberst and photographer Patrick McNamara. Each decade in the life of the banded male trickster is represented in these solo and group photographs of contemporary males. Inspired by tricksters the world over, but most especially the clown kachinas of the Southwest Pueblo people, these ceremonial guides inspire through confrontation, candor, and mischievous antics. One senses that we have stumbled upon a ritual that we are not intended to witness. The viewer is at first a voyeur, but soon moves through that veil into the realm of transformation. What transpires within the photograph is again left to the viewers to construct of their own volition. The artists, tricksters themselves, know each of us has our own innate way of making that journey.