Monday, April 09, 2012

Trix is for all god's chil'ren

My initial response to the reading of the Gospel of Luke for the Who Do You Say That I Am exhibit coming up at Beacon's First Presbyterian Church has focused on the notion of translation and the pressures brought to bear on a text or experience when it is put through the process of interpretation.  More recently, I've been looking at the reading through the lens of another concurrent reading I'm doing for our Art Book Club Lewis Hyde's Trickster Makes This World.  The trickster, the figure, of many forms, that plays a role in so many belief systems around the world, which uniquely moves between the realms of heaven and earth.  The trickster is a connection, a liaison between mortals and immortals.  He's an amoral benefactor to mankind, in many cases breaking decorum and convention and gifting to mankind treats once were only fit for the gods.   
Drawing, 2012
So you have Jesus Christ, the chimeric man/god hybrid that moves twixt the two realms.  What was Jesus but a liaison between the mortal and the eternal, and what was his mission but to disrupt the status quo on the human plane?  So this reading of Jesus as Trickster - I've intuitively been misspelling trickster using an x - undoubtedly the subconscious influence of that rabbit always trying to get himself some of that fruit cereal meant only for kids.  And how appropriate to be mashing up a bunny-based marketing campaign with the trixster lamb that drove so much of the development of Western culture, this being Easter weekend - or as some know it as Zombie Jesus Day.  

Drawing, 2012

A dinner discussion about Easter from last week brought to mind, suddenly, that the story of the resurrection of Christ but a Zombie story?  Certainly not the original zombie story, but an Original Zombie....Jesus Christ; the redemptive O.Z.  This revelation was just that;  I had never framed the view of the New Testemant in this way and it seemed novel and obvious...Of course I should have realized that this thought was not the the first time someone had thought of it......Chad, resident zombie/undead/slasher expert assured me that there indeed are cinematic treatments of this story that exist and which will be coming out.  And in fact, it's possible to see the random O.Z. Jesus-es participating in your local zombie crawl.
And where better to consider the multitude of natures of Jesus' exploits than along I-70 moving through Kansas where He lives among all the other roadside messaging.  I even saw a Luke-specific, anti-abortion (I believe) billboard, featuring an image of baby hands and a reference to Luke 1:41, which reads "And it came to pass, that, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit:"
Jesus' Pimp Hand (after El Greco), 2005
Just today, reviewing old images, I was reminded of two of a series of sketches I did; studies for two sculptures from 2005 inspired by El Greco's depiction of Jesus activating his pimp hand in one of his famous disruptive exploits.
Jesus' Pimp Hand (after El Greco), 2005

Cocked 2005 - 48x20x16" wood, plaster, metal
Pimphand 2005 - 84x48x30" wood, metal, plaster

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