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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Jesus sent to the electric chair and not the Cross

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Frankreich: Proteste gegen Jesus auf elektrischem Stuhl « DiePresse.com

France: Protests against Jesus in electric chair

A sculpture by British artist Paul Fryer shows Jesus in the electric chair. It is on display in the French town of Gap. The Bishop of Gap defends the work of art.

Crown of thorns, long hair, beard, a wound in the side, arms, feet and hands pierced, a downward sloping head: A picture of Jesus which can be seen in every church. But the sculpture "Pieta" by British artist Paul Fryer shows Jesus in this well known pose not on the Cross, but in the electric chair. Since the weekend the artwork can be seen in the Cathedral of Gap in the French Alps - and has guaranteed controversy, reported Kathpress. Bishop Jean-Michel di Falco has already received protest letters against the sculpture, the Paris newspaper Le Figaro reports.

Bishop: The sculpture is not scandalous

Di Falco, however, is a proponent of the "Pieta". If Jesus had been sentenced today, he would have to reckon with the electric chair or other barbaric methods of execution, says the bishop. Scandalous is therefore "not Jesus in the electric chair, but the indifference to his crucifixion."

The artwork belongs to the collection of the French entrepreneur François Pinault, who loaned it to the Diocese of Gap for Holy Week. Whether the work is then to be shown in a museum or a church is not yet decided, the TV station "France3" reported.
Cathcon: the same Bishop criticised the Pope over condoms so no wonder he ventures on the path of fideism where the historical reality represented by the wood of the Cross no longer matters in our Redemption.

3 comments:

Mitch said...

Gillibrand, I think it is interesting to see this sculpture because here in the western US mormons are a huge part of their population. They do not use the cross in their religion because they do not want to use the tool of Christ's death as a symbol. Their arguement against Catholics wearing crucifixs is often: "If Jesus was killed on an electric chair would you wear a little electric chair necklace?" The answer one always gives to them is "yes".

To me this sculpture is fine for an abstract look at Christ's passion, but as far as an object of faith, it is plain wrong.

Tony said...

I think this is a very thoughtful piece of art.

Were the Romans to have had the technology we have, they might well have chosen to execute their victims in the electric chair, which is, in my book, 'cruel and unusual punishment', inflicting death by torture and pain.

Instead of 'Crucify Him' the crowds might well have screamed 'Electrify Him' and meant it just as viciously.

The work has the power to make one stop and think. And to ask the question "just how far have we moved on in 2000 years?" to which my answer has to be "not very far at all."

This work doesn't replace the wood of the Cross. But it does ask us to think about how we still inflict suffering in the (so called) name of justice. The very fact that it's uncomfortable to look at means that it's working. There's no blasphemy here. I see only inspiration. This is a work to be praised.

The very thought of Christ being nailed to the Cross has the power to move me to tears. This work moves me similarly, and I'm pretty sure that's the way Our Lord would want me to think.

Anonymous said...

At least it is in good taste: it is modern art only in subject matter. and it does remind us that we moderns are also responsible for Christ's suffering and death, alas.