Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Office Staff: 240-895-4225
Alumni Where are they now?
Matthew Fishel (studio art, 2001) completed an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Originally interested in painting, Matthew has expanded his practice to include animation, video, installation, and digital imaging. He is a frequent contributor to RedStarKGB, an ongoing collaboration of filmmakers in Baltimore. His own film, "A Short Film Regarding Possibilities", was selected by the Maryland Film Festival in 2006. See his work at http://www.matthewfishel.com
Mountains are High and the Emperor is Far Away: Catholic Architecture in Yunnan Province
Abstract: Upon encountering a singular Catholic Church in the ethnically Bai city of Dali in Yunnan Province, China, I was struck by its combination of Western and Chinese architectural styles. This immediately raised questions for me about the process of cultural integration that occurs when a foreign religion adapts to native traditions. In addition to this cultural dimension to the story of the structure, a political aspect was brought to my attention by the presence of a forbidden picture of Pope John Paul II. Curious about both faces of the Dali church, I have set out to investigate the ways in which this building crosses the boundaries of East and West, legitimate and subversive. This paper generally introduces the government’s history of interaction with religion. Distinguishing between native and foreign religions, I observe the conditions under which new, alien religions are tolerated by those in power, and when they are oppressed. The full range of these interactions can be seen as I address issues focusing on Catholicism’s particular experiences under a variety of Chinese regimes. Additionally, I consider the cultural method of introduction and cultural immersion being conducted by the Church beneath the watchful political level. Using an architectural model describing Rome’s deliberate cultural permeation of Asia, I seek to connect these cultural and political phenomena to the church architecture itself and how the messages of that model address the Bai people of Dali and their autonomous politics.