Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Christ’s torment and queer suffering: More on Wojnarowicz censorship

Christ with Ants from the David Wojnarowicz video
“A Fire in My Belly”
Insightful essays continue to be written about the Smithsonian’s censorship of gay artist David Wojnarowicz’ video “Fire in the Belly” because of its controversial ant-covered crucifix.

I have come to believe that conservative Christians condemned the Wojnarowicz video precisely because it equates Christ’s torment with queer / LGBT suffering. They do NOT want Christ to be identified with lesbian, gay, bi and trans people at all.

Here are highlights from some of the best new essays on the controversy and its LGBT Christian meanings. Click the titles to see the whole essay:

X-Ray of Civilization: David Wojnarowicz and the Politics of Representation
“What seems to be truly unconscionable for critics of Wojnarowicz’s art is its forceful imputation of the analogy between the Biblical torment of Christ and the contemporary suffering of queer bodies and subjects.”
by Leon Hilton of bullybloggers: the queer bully pulpit

Sacrilege Or Censorship? Christians Enraged by Art with Gay, Religious Images by Stuart Wilber of
“This was not the first time that an exhibition that included LGBT or religious imagery had been censored and undoubtedly not the last.”

Art, Censorship, and the Scandal of the Cross
“God doesn’t need Christians to act as intellectual property watchdogs.”
by Patrick S Cheng, gay Asian American theologian and author of Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology

Wojnarowicz’s Ant-Covered Jesus: Blasphemy or Religious Art?
“That Christ on the cross is actually dead, and the body so dead that ants might eat it, is both the most orthodox Christian statement, and the most scandalous.”
by S. Brent Plate, religion professor and author of Blasphemy: Art that Offends

For more info, see our previous post “Smithsonian censors gay artist when conservatives attack”.

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1 comment:

KittKatt said...

I just added a link to an in-depth update on the “Hide/Seek” Wojnarowicz controversy, written by former gallery owner and LGBT-rights activist Stuart Wilber. The show is in Brooklyn til February 2012, then goes
on display in Tacoma, Washington.

Sacrilege Or Censorship? Christians Enraged by Art with Gay, Religious Images