Saturday, December 18, 2010

Inclusive Christmas tree: Anti-gay DVDs become ornaments

DVDs against same-sex marriage are being recycled now as decorations for the inclusive Christmas tree of Minnesota artist Lucinda Naylor. New photos tell recent developments with her amazing “DVD to Art” project.

“DVD to Art” protests the 400,000 sent to Minnesota Catholics by Archbishop John Nienstedt to urge them to seek a constitutional amendment against marriage equality. Naylor responded by asking people to give her their DVDs for recycling into art with an inclusive theme of hope. She was promptly fired as artist in residence at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Unless otherwise noted, photos come from Lucinda Naylor.

I love the rainbow reflections in this close-up of “The Wave,” a sculpture that Naylor built from the 2,000 anti-gay DVDs that she collected. Look closely and you’ll also see a reflection of the entwined hands of two men: Michael Bayly and his boyfriend Doug. Bayly is a gay Catholic who blogs at the Wild Reed Blog. Before Naylor dyed them blue, the DVDs clearly showed the entwined hands of a man and a woman. Photo by Doug Abbott.

Inspired by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Naylor arranged the DVD sleeves on a wall so people could tuck their prayers inside on pieces of paper. “Remembering my grandmother's quilting bees, I invited women and girls to sew the sleeves together,” Naylor says.

“May all love be recognized as HOLY!” and “May the Wave and our prayers turn the tide” were among the prayers left at the Wailing Wall near Lucinda Naylor’s “Wave.”

This prayer at the Wave’s Wailing wall shows the smiling faces of mothers Margaret and Cathy with their child Louie -- “a family committed to social justice in all its forms.”

“I am praying for the oppressed people who have been horribly hurt by the Archbishop’s message. I pray for his conversion to Christianity.” -- a prayer left at the DVD to Art Wailing Wall.

After the Wave exhibition, some of the DVDs were sold as mini-sculptures. Most were returned to the Archbishop by a group called Return the DVD. The Archbishop wouldn’t meet with them, but the following video shows their confrontation with his representatives. Naylor saved the last few DVDs for her Christmas tree.

For more info, see our previous posts “Artist turns anti-gay DVD into inclusive art” and “Artist makes waves with protest art for marriage equality” and visit:

DVD to Art Facebook Group

DVD to Art Blog

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Trudie said...

This was such a wonderful example of a truly creative protest. I thank everyone who was involved in it from the bottom of my heart, and thank you for continuing to share it on the blog! Where creative love counteracts negativity, there love is!

Kittredge Cherry said...

Trudie, I thought of you when I decided to post the photo with the rainbow reflections. I remember that you brought up the idea of seeing the rainbows in this project's DVDs.

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh! Looks like the video is too wide; half of it is cut off. But it can be resized; when you go to YouTube to grab the embed code, there's a field below the video where one can customize the size of the video. I'd put the width of the video (given this template) at about 380 pixels. YouTube fills in the rest automatically for a properly sized video. Then just copy the code and embed. :)

Kittredge Cherry said...

Wow, Tracie, THANKS! I took your advice and it worked perfectly! I knew this was a problem, but I had not noticed the “customize” feature for YouTube embed code. This will help with video display at the Jesus in Love Blog from now on.

Anonymous said...

Not a problem. It is possible to also edit the code right in your entry, if one knows a wee bit of HTML. But it's easier to just size it on YT when copying the code from there.

The new Blogger In Draft templates are also a bit wider (and this is customizable too) and can accomodate bigger videos.

I just like tweaking and customizing stuff like this. I'm such a girl geek. :D

Trudie said...

The newly sized video is MUCH better. Thanks, Tracie, for the upgrade advice.

I still think that the real impact of this entire action is simply in the total creativity of the entire protest, of which the video is a significant part. I was impressed all over again, watching in the new format, that it was gentle and upbeat, but still made the point.

It can never be said too often that positive and creative will eventually overcome negative and destructive, if only we stick to our convictions! And hooray that on the same day you posted this, DADT was finally repealed!

JCF said...

Good on ya!

June Butler said...

More creative recycling of the hateful DVDs into things of beauty. Lovely.