Daily Archives: April 2, 2007

Batten down the hatches, folks — get ready for “controversy” !

“He wears Jesus’ robes and a neon blue halo, looks like Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and is causing a stir at a Chicago art school. An undergraduate student’s papier mache sculpture of Obama as a messianic figure – entitled “Blessing” – went on display Saturday at a downtown gallery run by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. By Monday, word of the piece had spread on political blogs, and the school had been flooded with calls.
David Cordero, 24, made the sculpture for his senior show after noticing all the attention Obama has received since he first hinted he may run for the presidency.
“All of this is a response to what I’ve been witnessing and hearing, this idea that Barack is sort of a potential savior that might come and absolve the country of all its sins,” Cordero said.”

Which of course was my point.

“In a lot of ways it’s about caution in assigning all these inflated expectations on one individual, and expecting them to change something that many hands have shaped.”
Obama’s campaign worked Monday to the distance the Illinois senator from the artwork.
“While we respect First Amendment rights and don’t think the artist was trying to be offensive, Senator Obama, as rule, isn’t a fan of art that offends religious sensibilities,” said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

But isn’t this how religions get started Ms. Psaki? Now all we need are a few “miracles” and the First Church of Obama is open for business.

Cordero said the school had fielded plenty of calls about his work, “some of them from angry people.” He also said he had heard from a few potential buyers.
Bruce Jenkins, dean of the art school’s undergraduate program, said response to the piece – part of a student exhibition – has been mostly positive. He said people should take a close look at the sculpture and the context it was created in before judging it.
“When you see it, when you spend time it with it, you understand that it’s not a provocative work at all,” Jenkins said. “It opens a set of questions.”

You mean like this?

“The Archdiocese of Chicago had not seen the work as of Monday afternoon and could not comment on it, said spokeswoman Dianne Dunagan.
The piece comes amid Catholic outrage in New York that led to an art gallery canceling an exhibit featuring a nude 6-foot-tall, anatomically correct chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ.
Artist Cosimo Cavallaro said Saturday that he has received threats as a result of the sculpture, called “My Sweet Lord.” Cavallaro said the controversy spurred “thousands” of e-mail messages from people offering help, donations and exhibition space”

And a tie-in with See’s Candy too, I’ll wager.

But enough of this ersatz uplift. Let’s get back to the basics, shall we? And there we won’t find Jesus — of any flavor.

“Now those among you full of pious teaching
Who teach us to renounce the major sins
should know before you do your heavy preaching
our middle’s empty
there it all begins
Your vices and our virtues are so dear to you
So learn the simple truth from this our song
wherever you aspire
whatever you may do
first feed the face
and then talk right and wrong
For even honest folk
May act like sinners
unless they’ve had their customary dinners.
What keeps a man alive?
What keeps a man alive
He lives on others
He likes to taste them first then eat them whole if he can
Forgets that they’re supposed to be his brothers
That he himself
Was ever called a man
Remember if you wish to stay alive
For once do something bad and you’ll survive
You warn us with appropriate caresses
That virtue humble virtue always wins
Now please before your moral verve oppresses
Our middle’s empty there it all begins
Oh you who don’t in our despair and your desire
may learn the simple truth from this our song
whatever you may do whatever you aspire
first feed the face and then talk right and wrong
for even saintly folk may act like sinners
unless they’ve had their customary dinners
What keeps a man alive?
What keeps a man alive
He lives on others
He likes to taste them first then eat them whole if he can
Forgets that they’re supposed to be his brothers
That he himself was ever called a man
Remember if you wish to stay alive
For once do something bad and you’ll survive”