Marcela Torres: Petición; for Exorcism

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, Petición; for Exorcism will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.


Events are subject to change

Thursday, December 3, 6:00pm:

The Flowery Road, Virtual walk-through with curator Sheridan Tucker Anderson

Click here to register

Tuesday, December 15, 6:00pm:

Artist talk in collaboration with The Momentary

Click here to register 

Ongoing Programming 

the smoky bouquets of flower mountain: Online incense making workshop

Click here to receive you kit & video link 

The workshop is a collaboration between Recess artist in residence, Marcela Torres, and artist D Rosen.

Together Rosen and Session artist Marcela Torres combine their interests in olfactory sensoria.  the smoky bouquets of flower mountain arose from the artists’ shared interests in the cultural multiplicity of scent, smoke, sacred plants, and more than human worlds.

The workshop runs concurrently with Torres’ show at Recess, Petición for Exorcism, which draws inspiration from Flower Mountain and Mesoamerican smoke rituals. Torres and Rosen designed an incense making kit that participants can pick up from Recess or receive via mail. The kits can be made into incense following the online video produced by Torres and Rosen.

D Rosen is an interdisciplinary artist who exhibits and publishes nationally and internationally. They operate from the position that questions of animality are not binary, but rather a tangle of ecologies and richly complicated identities, framed by culture. Rosen attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2018, received an MFA from the University of Chicago in 2013, and a BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2011. In 2020, Rosen is exhibiting in an echo, she is curated by Ruslana Lichtizer at Chicago Manual Style with Soo Shin and Catherine Sullivan (Chicago, IL), created a collaborative web object with grant support from the Nordic Summer University (Aalborg, Denmark), exhibited at The Green Gallery (Milwaukee, WI), and will publish an essay on interspecies scent rituals in Olfactory Art and the Political in an Age of Resistance edited by Gwenn-Aël Lynn and Debra Riley Parr for Routledge (New York + London).  More information about their sculptural collaborations with non-human animals and ever-mutating scent research can be found at: +

Cuicatl anyolque’/ You lived as song: A eulogy writing campaign


Petición; for Exorcism

* Accessibility Note * Petición; for Exorcism is an installation that uses scent as a tool for ritual practice, the space will often have smoking incense and ash. If you would like to visit the space but have allergies to scent please book your appointment ahead of time with an accessibility note. We can air out the space and provide a respirator to block out smell.

“Flower Mountain” is an idea from North American indigenous mythology referring to a kind of mountainous, floral paradise that connects water and sky, a liminal spirit world where the living and deceased can be together. Inspired by this celestial place of ritual, healing, and reflection, Session artist Marcela Torres presents Petición; for Exorcism, an evolving environment focused on releasing dark energies trapped in our physical and social bodies. 

Petición; for Exorcism will be a formation of paintings, video and ceramic sculptures, dedicated to ritualized plants and activated through smoke. The installation will be a growing panoply of ceramic vessels full of flowers, herbs, and burning aromas. Employing a mixture of expulsion methods from mesoamerican curanderismo rituals, marital arts movement, and sound based archives, Torres continues the work of our recent uprising by petitioning the earth and its natural indigenous spirituality. 

Members of the public are invited to sign up to receive an incense-making kit in the mail and community members are invited to write letters to Torres throughout the Session that memorialize the passing of a loved one during the pandemic. These letters will be added to Torres’ ceramic floral vessels, becoming a part of Petición; for Exorcism. In exchange for letters, Torres will send a uniquely-created “smoke bomb”––made of tobacco, copal, and cedar––that transport the receiver to their own “Flower Mountain.” 

Marcela Torres’s Petición; for Exorcism is part of Recess’s program, Session, which invites artists to use Recess’s public platform to combine productive studio space with dynamic exhibition opportunities. Sessions remain open to the public from the first day of the artist’s project through the last, encouraging sustained dialogue between artists and audiences. Due to the process-based nature of Session, projects undergo constant revision and the above proposal is subject to change.

 About the Artist

Marcela Torres (b. Salt Lake City, Utah) is an artist who brings performance, objects, workshops, organizing, and sound installations into an experiential interrogation of our state of interpellation. They unpack themes of diaspora, violence and rituals using their Latinx Queer bodies as the mechanism. Torres received a BA in Sculpture Intermedia  and a BFA in Art History  from the University of Utah in 2015. They received an MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute Chicago in 2017. Torres has performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, IL), Performances is Alive (Miami, FL), Fringe Festival (Detroit, MI), Experimental Actions (Houston, TX), and Time Based Arts (Portland, Oregon). Torres has exhibited work at the Green Gallery at Yale School of Art (New Haven, CT), Tropical Contemporary (Eugene, OR), Petzel Gallery (NYC, NY). In 2020, Torres will be a resident at Recess in Brooklyn, NYC and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE.

Recess is supported, in part, by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council; The Horace Goldsmith Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; Art for Justice Fund, Pinkerton Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies, Laurie M Tisch Illumination Fund, The Salomon Foundation, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Prospect Hill Foundation, Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation and The Tikkum Olam Foundation. In-kind support is provided by Materials for the Arts.