Monday, March 12, 2012

we workers do not understand modern art

So on our weekly walk through Clevelandia, we came upon an art installation in the cathedral downtown, which upon observation and putting our admittedly geeky and freely associating brains together, we had difficulty coming up with "what it all means" which makes me sound like a bit of a get-off-my-lawner because the parallels to the Stations of the Cross were not terribly apparent even with the additional placards and an appeal to Saint Google for insight into such arcane knowledge.

It's not that I'm opposed to postmodernism as artistic aesthetic, because I cobble together mediums and imagery from all over, but even at my most abstract, I still could not make the connections between this and what I remember from Catholic school when the sixth graders would act out a tableau kind of thing during Holy Week. While I believe that one's faith should affect how one sees the world, I also take issue with the politicizing of religion whether it's the God Bless America-centric right wing that I grew up around or the overly earnest lefties who are just apt to politicize the transcendent, to squeeze it into a constraint of context.

Supposedly in reference to Simon of Cyrene, but, um, I got nothin'

Even with the symbology, this whole thing did not move me except to remind me of a ridiculous theology class in high school (class: Is God more like a jumper cable or a spark plug? More like a circus clown or a trapeze artist?) and wanting to have a pillow fight with the pile of such fluff by the baptismal. Randal jokes about smiting, but this church is more of a museum than a living house of faith as it is. Cake or death, anyone?

This is supposed to be Jesus falling for the second time

I'm pretty sure that ripped out pages of the Qu'ran can get you on someone's shitlist pretty fast (in fairness, these are no longer part of the exhibit, and a copy of the local paper has taken its place. It still doesn't make any more sense)

this is supposed to symbolize Jesus in his mother's arms
Maybe I'm just too literal or jaded or feeling like the message gets lost in the heap of broken images and fragmentation. Maybe that's the point, or I'm not seeing something, but it doesn't move me to contemplate God or my relationship to humanity, really. It just kind of feels like a reaction, a semblance of substance, a naked emperor messiah. Art's just as subjective as music I guess, and what moves one may not move another, but other depictions have hit me in the gut infinitely more.


  1. forget about what they're supposed to represent they are just weak as works in their own right

  2. Falls for the first time, brachiosaurus; second time: brontosaurus (quiet with ye pedantry, apatosaurians); third time: giraffe. *That* would have like been saying *something* man, ya dig?

    We should have used those pillow cases to cover up the security cameras and had plush fisticuffs.

  3. dmf,
    true that.

    I kind of like this dinosaur idea.