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Superstar resurrected

Modern artists are once again interested in Jesus Christ

These days, Russian artists exhibit their versions of modern Christ in Europe. Their European colleagues object the works. Canvases exhibited in Germany and Britain depict Jesus as blonde femmes and dark-skinned men. Mel Gibson's latest film “The Passion” caused major scandal in the States around the image of the Savior. Everyone argues whether modern generation should adjust the image of Christ to present times.

Actually, Mel Gibson has not done anything immoral. Film critics as well as film viewers can argue about Gibson's work as much as they want to. The fact remains unchanged—the time has finally come for a new Jesus. Just as the Hippie generation has praised “Jesus Christ Superstar,” so does present-day Internet generation is creating its Messiah.

The project entitled “Christ's Body in Photographs. 1850-2001” has opened its in Germany. Photography does not compromise. Body is real, wounds are natural. In the end it all results in rather intense, extreme shots. The recently opened exhibition Corpus Christi in Germany will remain open until April. Afterward, it is planned to tour the world. It might even travel all the way to Moscow.

Israelites collected 130 photographs of 76 artists (including famous movie shots). The least shocking piece is a photographic work of an American Andres Serano entitled “A Different Christ”, where a profile of black-skinned Jesus is masterfully juxtaposed to a well-lit image of the Blessed Virgin in the background. However, Jesus-woman and Jesus-African-American have been depicted long before Serano.

American classical genius of “video art” Bill Viola decided to exhibit his version of “The Passion”. About a week ago, his official exhibition of video projects in London’s National Gallery has been officially closed. The Crucifix (depicting a man with stretched arms) serves as Viola’s main symbol. The symbol unexpectedly emerges from falling drops of water. In the end, it is Viola's own word that transmits the essence of today’s treatment of Christ. This is a notion of “extremity”. It signifies the passage to and beyond the limit of the earthly soul. As a result, there remains a mere body with all the aches of the XX century from which it is possible to assemble the Superstar-XXI.   


Sergey Solovev
Source: “New Izvestia