Archive for August, 2007

jesus having sex

ok, so this post is gonna be divided into 3 sections… i guess you could call it a tri-post…

Part 1 – jesus having sex

My housemate has been kind enough to lend me their dvd’s of a tv series called ‘the L word’ its’ basically a drama about a bunch of lesbians. i find it quite engaging and the character development is good… i like it. anyway… in the show one of the characters is the curator of an art gallery and they are showing an exhibition called ‘provocations’. well it’s quite controversial… and some of the pieces are quite nasty… anyway… one of the pieces is a video depicting a jesus figure and 3 men who look like apostles are standing around, as the camera pulls back we see that there is a naked woman in front of the jesus figure have sex with him. i must clarify by saying that you don’t see the actual act, just her naked body in front of his. In the show there is a group of christians who actively oppose the exhibition and are doing lots to try to stop it.

ok, so that’s the summery, well it got me thinking, as a christian should i be offended that an artist has used a jesus figure in such a way? or as an artist should i view the work as i would any other piece of art, by trying to find a connection to the piece and seeing if i can get a glimpse of what the artist is trying to tell me?

it’s a pickle.

i guess the simple fact is that i’m not offended at all. it really does not bother me that Jesus is being depicted in such a way… and i can only explain it by saying that it’s really obvious to me that the jesus figure is not really Jesus. i know it’s art. and i know that the artist is trying to express an idea or emotion in a provocative way… i dunno… it’s just art to me… maybe i’m to blasé about it but i really don’t have a strong negative reaction to this piece.

so is it worth getting all high and mighty and angry at an artist or gallery because they depict my God in such a way? for me the answer is no. aside from the fact the this particular work does not really impact me, as a christian i reckon there are heaps more important things to get angry about… and i would rather let the work open a door for me to talk to someone about who Jesus really is…

Part 2 – emotions

ok, so talking about art, i was thinking today that it is impossible for us as humans to actually share an emotion. all we can do, through words, or music or art, is to describe the symptoms of the emotion. for example, i can say that when i broke up with the ex-girlfriend i felt empty in the pit of my stomach and i felt constantly sick… you see i can’t actually show you what the feeling was like, all i can do is use words to get as close to describing the physical expression of the emotion… now take music and art, both of these are great vehicles for convoying emotion, but the drawback is that the artist or musician has no control over how the viewer is affected by the work, so take a soulful guitar solo played by a master guitarist, the guitarist might be intending the solo to make people feel sad, but what if for some strange reason that solo made me feel great? i know there are songs that i love and lift me up that others find bring them down… so to sum up what i’m saying is that i believe it’s impossible for humans to actually share an emotion, all we can do is describe what’s going on and hope that what we call it is similar to what others feel.

Part 3 – community

last night i was lucky enough to go to a small group of christians to hear a friend of mine speak about their experience in doing church a different way.

i won’t go into detail about that, but i will say that was able to identify how i felt about regular churches… and it’s this:

people (including me) are looking to community. by that i mean we all want to have people around us who we share our lives with, people who care about us and who we care about. this is one of the main reasons that churches exist. the problem is that we start to make church less about connecting with people and sharing life, and more about putting on a program. this leads to lots of very busy, but ill-connected people. i’m not saying that getting together and celebrating what God is doing in us is a bad thing, but i am saying that we tend to go way beyond that… i could be out almost every night of the week at some church activity or other, which leaves me no time to spend with my friends or making new ones. so then my life becomes simply a series of appointments with eating and sleeping fit in around them.

this is absurd. why would anyone what to live like that? i’m looking for a church that lets me be a part of a genuine community of people, and is also making a difference in connecting more people together.

hmm… well i guess i’ll need to think about this more…

thanks for listening…

– sye 🙂


August 2, 2007 at 12:17 am Leave a comment

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