The Rosary / Sibha as a Communal Sculpture, American University Cairo 2007

Installation: The rosary / sibha as a communal sculpture. American University Cairo, New Falaki Building. The installation was built in a collective effort on March 8, 2007 and is still on view on the roof top of the New Falaki Building. A documentary can be found through

Visiting Professor of AUC Richard Jochum invites students, faculty, and the public to become part of a communal sculpture: a huge, 40 meter large communal prayer necklace.

"The sculpture of the magnified rosary beads changes the scale and sector of the original. From the private meditation of an individual holding her rosary, the sculpture becomes a public one inviting communal contemplation. By moving it from the private to the public sector, the rosary becomes an object for discussion and debate. At the same time, however, the change in scale from hand-held to  larger-than-life transforms the giant rosary into a subject commanding a presence within the same space of its viewers. Its uncanny resemblance to a chain recalls both the positive and negative connotations of the many types of chains in our world: from the chains that are used for prisoners to the chain that links memory itself. A chain that connects one religion to the next in the significance of prayer, could also be a chain that prevents connections to be made. Painted sky-blue and being a site-specific installation on the roof, the rosary beads seem to bring a piece of the sky down to sit on the rooftop for conversation. As both an object and subject of inquiry, the sculpture re-presents the local’s relation to the global, inviting discussions of the ways in which we are linked together and implicated, and ways that we could forge better relations." (Aphrodite Desiree Navab)

Short Biography
Dr. Richard Jochum is a Visiting Scholar and Artist at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Department of Arts and Humanities and Film and Education Research Academy (FERA). He works as a media artist since the late 1990s setting up exhibitions all over the world. Being an Austrian citizen Richard received his MA in philosophy from the University of Innsbruck, and his PhD from the University of Vienna dealing with strategies coping with complexity in contemporary philosophy. He got his MFA in sculpture and media art from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna before he moved first to Berlin and later to New York. Richard’s art practice is accompanied by publications and lectures in the field of cultural theory and contemporary art. He has been awarded several grants and prizes. His most recent exhibition project IndexFinger#1-3 will be shown in Liechtenstein which is currently the cultural capital of Europe, Kunsthaus Vaduz, Apr 3 - May 20, 2007. More information can be found at

Images: 2, 5, 6, 7, 9 Ann Shafer; 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 12 Richard Jochum