Ruth Naomi © Anthony Schrag
The open Bible is a central part of Made in God’s Image, an exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (Goma) in Glasgow. By the book is a container of pens and a notice saying: “If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it.” …
…Third, the comment I quote in the title for this piece falls into that category of topics that really begin to open up possibilities for any religious thinker not hellbent on regurgitating the same old line and truly interested in seeing Christianity reach a new generation:
One writer has altered the first line of the Old Testament from “In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth” to “In the beginning, God (me) I created religion.” Another has written “The Gospel According to Luke Skywalker”.
Whether the Church likes it or not, these sentiments (that man created religion and that morality lessons come to us via Pop culture more these days than via the Bible, and perhaps that’s OK) are the context in which the Church must today demonstrate its relevance. Those genies are out of the bottle, and only through the most draconian of measures could the Church get them back in again without addressing and discussing them openly.
Fourth, the sponsors of the exhibition are indicating they plan a highly disturbing response to the criticism:
Last night the producers of the exhibition indicated that the most offensive pages would be removed….
Really? Who decides what’s offensive? Some would say the entire concept is offensive, others would say censorship is even more offensive. This is a very bad idea in my opinion. If you can’t take the heat, close the show. Don’t edit it on the fly. You’re never going to find that happy middle ground in this.
[From Edward_ Winkleman]
This post by Edward Winkleman is a delight to read like many of his posts. between discussing the literary content of the Times article and listing it’s deficiencies one by one he has outlined more about the exhibition and it’s intent than the original article.
I find the concept rather interesting frankly, I would like to read the changes, funny and not, that people have written and see what others have to say. I hope that if it is censored the creators will consider making it an online project that people worldwide can contribute to. I hope that some priests and reverends take the time to read the comments to add relevance to their sermons and to draw in people.
The indication to me of this project, is not one of “lawlessness” (what laws have been broken?) but one of people crying out for help. obviously some of the messages are inflammatory or not intended to be serious- and that, too, is part of free speech and should not be ingored. I think that those in the pulpits would to well to heed the cries and try to tend their flocks.
I am not religious, but I find religion deeply fascinating. frankly in these times I think more and more people probably need the comfort and solace that religion often brings to those who believe. but without relevance they will be losing people, I remember listening to sermons bored because I couldn’t see how any of it applied to me. without answers I went looking for something else, I actually studied religions and different texts and ended up taking a bit of a hodgepodge of different faiths and forming my own basis of belief around my life experiences and bits and pieces of everything. it works for me. it’s relevant.
I think if the gallery had been concerned as to the backlash they could have shown a similar project on the same topic, asking artists and writers to re-write sections of the bible (I see pretty illuminations too but I’m that kind of person) to make them personally relevant. that too, would have been interesting and more controlled, probably less offensive – but probably would be less raw and real.
Edit: I completely forgot to mention that the title of this post was one of the additions made during the exhibition.