Tuesday, April 26, 2005

writing for koder: theology and art as looking

I have completed my first writing project for these few days. I have just sent a 2,500 word piece to a German publishing company. Earlier this year, I was really delighted to be asked, in honour of an 80 year old German artists birthday, to write something for a book, on his work. I loved the boundary crossing such a request represented: English to German, young to wise, PhD theology of emerging church research to article on artist.

What did I write? Well I traced some links around an art piece (great view here). I noted the way that discipleship in John 1 is framed around the verb “to look.” And how looking at Jesus unsettles, or displaces, our identity. I then explored American Beauty, and what we “see” as we accept it’s invitation to look closer. I then made some link with art historians and philosophers like Lacan, Barthes and Freedberg, who argue that the gaze is in fact a dialogue, with the potential to encounter us, resurrect (to use the words of Barthes) us.

So I concluded that looking is in fact a life-changing act. So now go back to Koder’s art and look closer, at that face in the cup …. and it looks back at you, asking where you are in relation to the table of Jesus and the bodies of Christ… looking as a life-changing act?

Anyhow, it should all be published (in German and English) in August. I wonder how I will sound in German?

Posted by steve at 07:59 AM

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