Three months ago Avignon, former seat of the Popes, witnessed an outrageous piece of degrading 'art' which was deeply insulting to our Lord: Collection Lambert presented a photograph of a crucifix in a jar of urine! (See here.) These self-styled 'artistic geniuses' are at it again, this time using Antonello da Messina's fifteenth century painting Salvator Mundi as a background to their crass rubbish.
In his new hour-long creation, called Sul concetto di volto nel figlio di Dio (On the concept of the face of the son of God) the 'brilliant' Romeo Castellucci gives the audience a succession of tableaux which begins with a naked old man wiping his backside and exposing his faeces to the gaze of the audience for several minutes. This is followed by a group of children stoning the face of Christ (with grenades!) ... then the face of Our Lord is crushed and distorted and it looks like a large knife begins to cut. Reddish-brown tears stream down the large portrait of Jesus’ face, whose colours, according to a journalist, “seem to link back to the faeces in the previous scene rather than resemble blood", before a black veil covers the portrait of the Saviour ... the last word on this panel reads: "You are not my shepherd".
This 'work' will now go on a European tour until February 2012, including Paris, at the Théâtre de la Ville, from October 20 to 30, and Centquatre, from November 2 to 4, in Rennes, from November 10 to 12, and Villeneuve-d ' Ascq 29 and December 30.
As I read the report of this vile blasphemy I was reminded of St. Alphonsus' Stations of the Cross: 'Pity your Saviour so cruelly treated'.
No doubt, there will be those who will see this as a message denouncing the sins done to Christ.
But, in truth, would they say the same if, instead of the face of our Lord, we had witnessed Mohammed or a rabbi, or even a politician, discredited by excrement and grenades?