“But I just ask people to think about it a little bit more deeply because it is a very loaded work which means that there are so many different meanings.” – Blake Prize entry Artist, Priscilla Bracks.
A friend of mine used to have a saying about “deep thinkers in the shallow end of the pool”. Sometimes your thoughts can become so deep that you become thoughtless.
These “works of art” in the picture above were entered by Priscilla Bracks and Luke Sullivan in the annual Blake Prize for Religious Art held in Sydney. You can read the entire story here in The Australian. Coo-ees in the Cloister has some strong words on this too.
I find the Jesus/bin Laden picture truly offensive. I am only marginally less offended by the statue of the Blessed Virgin in the veil. It is not the association of the Blessed Virgin with the Muslim religion that offends me — after all, Muslims regard Mary with great devotion. My concerns are a little deeper than that.
Both depictions offend me because of what they do to the faces of Jesus and Mary. The picture morphs the face of our Lord into the face of the terrorist. The statue hides the face of Mary completely. With this in mind read these following statements from Pope Benedict:
To express ourselves in accordance with the paradox of the Incarnation we can certainly say that God gave himself a human face, the Face of Jesus, and consequently, from now on, if we truly want to know the Face of God, all we have to do is to contemplate the Face of Jesus! In his Face we truly see who God is and what he looks like!
In [Our Lady’s] face—-more than in any other creature—-we can recognize the features of the Incarnate Word.
A truly thoughtful person would realise that these “works of art” distort and obscure the face of God which we have been privileged to see in Jesus and Mary.
I, for one, am at least glad that the Blake Prize judges were thoughtful enough not to award these “works of art” any prizes, although a little more thoughtfulness would have excluded the work from the exhibition entirely.