by Geoff Hall on April 6, 2010

It’s a strange week, Passion Week, full of the extremities of human experience.  From Triumphal Entry to Crucifixion.  From loud Hosanna, to hushed words of denial and betrayal.  From the misuse of power (whether religious or political), to the exuberant power of the Resurrection.  Check out your career thus far and I bet it mirrors some of the above.  As for me, I await Resurrection!!  Maybe I’ll be able to show up unexpectedly in a locked and secure room, somewhere in Bristol or Bath and surprise those gathered by announcing “Peace” at the top of my voice!

My best friend and mentor Andrei told me that you can’t have realism in film without addressing our spiritual condition.  He also told me that it is our job to resurrect spirituality in the face of the burden and distortion of materialism.  He’s a clever guy!

So, how does resurrection work in our art?  Do we simply get caught up in the material of the work and consider ‘process’ to be enough?  Richard Serra, the chap who conceives those massive metallic structures, tells us that his work is just about process.  It points to a material reality devoid of spirituality; for the material is all there is.  There is no need for cunningly placed metaphors to point to something beyond, because there is nothing beyond.  This is it folks!  Life followed by inevitable death.  Why not pass the time of day, stemming the flow of boredom with a game in tortured, twisted metal?

If we leave our faith at Golgotha, then that is all there is, tortured and twisted humanity.  Paul, the writer of many letters – he of the worn stylus – tells us that without the resurrection, our faith is in vain.  Think what would’ve happened if the Christian Church had taken the empty tomb as a symbol, rather than the cross.  What would it say to people in this day and age, when they are so aware of suffering and death, when hope appears far away?  Jesus it seems was rather good at unexpected presence and absence!  Escaping the tomb – “Where have you taken Him?”; entering the locked room, where the disciples were for ‘fear of the Jews’!  “Peace”!

Does our work create the expectation of something more?  Does it surprise with the unexpected, or does our reliance on the material construct of the conceptual installation, simply speak of the here and now, or our own private version of it?  Or, does it resurrect spirituality in a world petrified by the sting of death?

Peace and Love to you all,


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