Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice

Sunday, August 31, 2003
| Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Things tend to decay. It’s a law of life. In the art world, however, it can be a serious problem, especially for those works of art that are made of organic material. Such works present a serious challenge for the art restorer. Jesus faced this same problem: how to restore those whose lives were in serious decay.

Remember the brouhaha in the art world concerning the “Sensation” exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art a couple of years ago?

The focus of the flap was “The Holy Virgin Mary,” a work by a Brit, Chris Ofili. In the words of one observer, the work was “a big semi-abstract collage eight feet high and six feet wide, resting on two balls of resin-covered elephant dung with pins stuck into them spelling out the words Virgin and Mary. The Virgin, simply drawn, is black, in a flowing blue-gray robe, a flowerlike form, flat against a gold backdrop. Small cutouts of vaginas and buttocks from pornographic magazines are stuck to the picture to suggest putti. Another ball of dung is meant to be one of the Virgin’s breasts.” He went on to say that “Like all of Ofili’s collages, the work is colorful and glowing.”

Maybe. [NOTE: We understand that you’re not going to be able to quote the material above verbatim, but we include it so that you can paraphrase it in your own words.]

We’re not going to get ...

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