Sunday, June 03, 2012

Naked Last Supper in Germany has clergy support

Würzburg: Nackt-Abendmahl in Kirchen-Museum nervt Besucher - Nachrichten Regionales - München - WELT ONLINE

With a new work by the Munich artist Henning von Gierke at the Würzburg Cathedral Museum, a talking point is generated. "The picture will perhaps trigger reservations if you focus on the term Last Supper and expect a depiction, said Juergen Lenssen, Arts Officer for the Diocese of Würzburg.

In the tryptic of the 1947-born artist, people are sitting, standing and lying around a table. They act like a normal family, some of them are naked, some sit on the sidelines, some look sickly. The scene is reminiscent of the famous "Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. But the space in the center is free. At this point an image is projected of the visitor who is standing in front of the painting . He or she is thus part of a modern supper. (Cathcon- and takes the place of Christ in the scheme of things)

Clergy support the artist
"Communion for me is wherever the celebration of life happens," said Lenssen who is a priest. The picture does not show the Lord's Supper, but rather life at its different poles. Young and old, healthy and sick, beautiful and ugly, disappointment and joy. As a" declaration of love for life, " the artist Gierke describes his work.

Around the picture are twelve small paintings, showing details. Before one of them hangs a frame with a fig leaf in it. It hides the pubic area of a nude woman. "We were just wondering if we should remove the whole image, but decided against it. Instead, the artist has created later this fig leaf." The installation is called "The Last Supper and twelve companions."

Criticism by e-mail
Nevertheless Lenssen has already reaped criticism. He had already received a negative reaction in vulgar language by email, says the art historian. "Behind this stands, as far as I am concerned, a pathological relationship with sex or nudity. We speak of the paradisiacal nudity, which is completely pure."

Run by the Catholic Church, the museum houses the largest church in Europe collections of contemporary art. According to Lenssen about 50,000 people visit the Cathedral Museum annually.

See also Erotic Church Service
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