Snooping around for Good Friday art, I came across the Australian EJournal of Theology,
which has a lot of groovy images. I promptly poached these two.

Stations of the Cross in LODWAR CATHEDRAL, Kenya, from Australian EJournal of Theology

Christ in the Tomb by Philip Agius, from Australian EJournal of Theology

...and of course, let's not forget the sexiest sculpture ever!

Pietà by Michelangelo

pieta side
Pietà (side view)

- sally mckay 4-06-2007 6:53 pm

yr wrong about it being the sexiest ever, that would be berinini's of st theresa in xtc, which rules over the vatican, like a harlot who knows her place in a palace of men.

(also, if missing fridays holy day of obligation wont mean that i am going straight to hell, then that above sentence will)
- anthony (guest) 4-07-2007 12:38 am

thinking about this:
, with the penis of the risen christ so visible it seems to be both a metonomy and aprophecy for the risen body of the lord in general, would be even sexier
- anonymous (guest) 4-07-2007 12:41 am

st theresa

yes, there's a bit of cute man titty showing


that is quite a package. But dude looks pretty much like a corpse to me. I had to look up one of your terms - good one!

me·ton·y·my (m-tn-m)
In schizophrenia, a language disturbance in which an inappropriate but related word is used in place of the correct one.

- sally mckay 4-07-2007 12:53 am

its also non clinically, where a smaller object is used to symbolise a larger one
- anthony (guest) 4-07-2007 1:32 am

Anthony, I prefer to go straight to hell so that I can be in the company of people who write sentences about harlots knowing their places in the palaces of men.

That's the Durer Lamentation over the Dead Christ up there, isn't it?

The Good Friday image that I find the most astounding (and unquestionably dead) is Hans Holbein's The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb


- L.M. 4-07-2007 2:00 am

have you read kristeva's essay on it in black sun?
- anthony (guest) 4-07-2007 2:23 am

I have read essays on it, not sure of that one. Was it ever in a Zone publication? (remember those big art-speak volumes with the lovely duotone covers that were selling for 80 bucks a pop at better book stores in the late 80's - no you wouldn't, but then again you are an exception to most rules)

Due to the way my books are stored, it's on the bottom of a tightly engineered pile and not so accessable in order to find the author, too bad, most readable essay ever published by that company. Do you have a link?
- L.M. 4-07-2007 2:35 am

i wrote this about that painting last year abotu this time

The fear of the story, the fear of the image, the fear of the metaphor
is the mark of the fundamentalist, of those who are afraid of the
ambiguity and unfettered emotions excstacy and revelery can cause a
person. The art survery text written by Jansen, speaks of "Hans
Holbein the younger, one of the greatest painters of all ages, was
obliged to undertake house painters' work, and to paint Coats of arms.
in order to make a living . . . In consequence of being thrown out of
work he saw himself compelled to migrate to England . . .' (Janssen,
IV, 165)" Holbein did well with this work, made money, drew and
painted beautiful and powerful portraits, of kings and princes. One,
The Ambassadors, was a cryptic discussion of "The wages are sin of
death", with two men standing behind a shelf filled with memento
mori—in front of them, an anamorphic skull, coded but impossible to
miss, between the conservation of men in power, men of great wealth,
was the skull, a symbol of their own mortality (There is an argument
that could be made, that the memento mori;s of this era, the sumptuous
portraits of rotting food and decaying meat, sometimes with insects
feasting in midst of all this carnage, took the place of the paintings
of martyred saints and crucifed christs, and the truly horrorfic
examples of hell and death were painted in the low countries, by
Bosch, Gruenenwald and Duerer.
All of that said, Holbein never painted anything like he did in his
early career. His Dead Christ, from 1565, is Christ in a box. Its that
simple. 6 feet wide, with a heavy, plain, wood frame, and a black
plane, Christ's pale corpus floats in space, like someone left a panel
off a coffin. He is on his linen, naked and unshoruded. The corpse is
emaciated, each of his ribs visible, the wounds on his side, hand and
feet crusted with blood. Rigor mortus has set in, and the bones on
his hand come through, like an x-ray, like one of the skeltons from
his Dance of Death Etchings. His hair is matted, his skull recedes.
There is nothing robust and erotic, none of the masochism found in
Mantegna's foreshortened Christ's or any of the Italian masters. But
he is there, iconic, and ever present, holy because his body his holy.
The horror of the image, is one of the things that unites us as part
of that communion of Christ—we must be aware of what taking up the
cross means, before we agree to, our free will allows that.
The work is so powerful, so infused with melancholy and mourning, that
the femminst psycho-analyst Krestieva dedicated a chapter to it in
Black Sun, her study of depression: "Holbein disapproved of [the
iconoclastic fervor]; he even fled from it when he left Basel for
England; but without, for that matter, giving in to any form of
exaltation, in fact he absorbed the spirit of his time--a spirit of
deprivation, of leveling, of subtle minimalism. . . . [the effects of
iconoclasm and his own personality] converge: they end up locating
representation on the ultimate threshold of representability, grasped
with the utmost exactness and the smallest amount of enthusiasm, on
the verge of indifference. . ." (124-5).
A robust communion, with icons, and history, with the nexus of
thinkers, creators, and commentators, allows us to have Holbein's dead
Christ and the sensual swoon of Sebastion. There is a poverty in our
faith, they limit the language we have to talk about god—and since our
attempts to talk about god, already is so limited in relation to his
vastness, to limit even further, strikes me as self defeating.
- anthony (guest) 4-07-2007 9:23 am

Thanks Anthony.


The Ambassadors, and we can expect an image of the anamorphic skull by a contemporary Croation painter to be featured on vvork next week. (doesn't matter, I love that site anyway)
- L.M. 4-07-2007 10:41 am

It wouldn't be a painter, it would be a Croatian conceptualist's anamorphic skull based on computer modeling of effluent flows in the Danube. (I love/hate that site, as you may have guessed.)
- tom moody 4-07-2007 4:50 pm

As I was saying... Who needs the art when you can have the one-line description? Sorry, I realize this is off topic.
- tom moody 4-10-2007 2:37 am

Topic? ...Anyhow, I hadn't been to vvork in a while. I love/hate it too. I don't mind the captions, but what gets tiresome for me is the feeling that most of everything they show shares a similar kind of clean conceptual correctness: elegant sculptural installations crafted well from non-precious materials with interesting but tidy content and an unquestioning relationship to art institutions. I rarely have any real complaint with any of the works, but looking at them all together I get feeling sort of dismal about it.
- sally mckay 4-10-2007 7:28 pm

Reminds me of a great recent line from Peter Schjeldahl in a review of a MOMA show:

"All of them amount to aesthetic demonstration projects that have no conceivable significance outside a gallery or museum—a dedicated art space—which they inhabit with the tender dependency of creatures in a petting zoo."

I like going there because the sheer volume of work, tied up with neat conceptual bows, leads to hard questions about the quality that I would have taken longer to ask.
- L.M. 4-10-2007 7:56 pm

that petting zoo analogy is perfect!
- sally mckay 4-10-2007 8:04 pm

grown up animals bite. and they will bite critics too.

- bill 4-10-2007 8:38 pm

you mean more like African Lion Safari?

I like what Schjeldahl says about "subject" in that review.

- sally mckay 4-10-2007 8:54 pm

yes, a modernism that requires the viewer to keep their windows securely rolled up.

- bill 4-10-2007 9:21 pm

augh. That image reminds me of the most horrific art gone wrong performance I ever witnessed. Student volunteers were suffocating inside a giant plastic bag that had the air slowly being sucked out of it. The artist was running around outside the bag administering breathing tubes, but she couldn't get to everyone in time. Eventually, after what seemed like much much too long, members of the audience jumped in and ripped open the plastic, releasing a bunch of gasping pissed off young people. Then somebody started clapping and there was a big round of applause while the artist smiled gratefully and the volunteers looked confused.
- sally mckay 4-10-2007 9:50 pm

Fuck. (I do like the part about the artist smiling gratefully)

Name names!

...or just email me.
- L.M. 4-10-2007 10:05 pm


- bill 4-10-2007 10:07 pm

No actual animals were... uhh.

I like that "baby sloth" came up on that same search.
- tom moody 4-10-2007 10:49 pm

If she'd done it on purpose (or bit the heads off her volunteers) I would have had more respect. Can't remember the name, it was years ago in Soho. Joester was there too.
- sally mckay 4-10-2007 10:52 pm

I gagged on the coleman video. Couldn't watch it.

There's lots of little animals that are so adorable that you just want to roll them up into meatballs and eat them, but that's just an expression.
- L.M. 4-10-2007 10:55 pm

The applause part is disturbing.
Bravo! for not killing anyone.
- tom moody 4-10-2007 11:01 pm

I thought the applause was coercive. "Bravo! you are an artist and we are an art audience. So nobody is gonna call the cops...right?" I talked to some of the suffocatees afterwards and they seemed to be feeling distinctly marginalised and disoriented.
- sally mckay 4-10-2007 11:06 pm

not nearly as bad, but wrt modernism, i am having the fight in this thread:

if anyone wants to defend me, feel free
- anthony (guest) 4-11-2007 2:29 pm

That's a fun thread! thanks for the link. Sorry for your troubles.
- sally mckay 4-11-2007 6:26 pm

More VVork (the second thread here, sorry to the first thread)


elegant sculptural installations crafted well from non-precious materials with interesting but tidy content and an unquestioning relationship to art institutions

pretty much nails it. It's depressing because artists are trying so hard, all over the world, to make their conceptualist schtick--projects that document well and photograph well and might catch the eye of a curator (or omnibus art blog)--and when you show them all together like this it starts to look like a disease. (cross posted to my page)
- tom moody 4-11-2007 8:34 pm

Defend you? Anthony, I'm laughing too much over someone calling you a juvenile nut case.
- L.M. 4-11-2007 9:59 pm

my response to Tom, cross posted:

"you see artists trying so hard, all over the world, to make their conceptualist schtick" ...that sounds a bit more bleak than necessary. It does manifest as a syndrome when its all put together, but that doesn't mean that each artist is being calculated about positioning their work within it. Pull some of them out and put them in other company and you may get something very rich. (I'll go and try this when I have time)."
- sally mckay 4-11-2007 10:04 pm

I enjoyed that comment too... indeed, all are welcome over at studiosavant, for some artistic smackdown, anytime...

- MC (guest) 4-23-2007 6:41 am

unfortunately I've closed this thread due to spam.
- sally mckay 5-16-2007 7:04 am