Friday, March 30, 2007

my sweet lord

Is it art, religion or dessert?

More on Cavallaro's controversial chocolate Jesus here.

Nutrition facts here.


Blogger andrea said...

Wow -- is this too provocative a topic to touch? It's kind of like a Madonna video in the '80s, except *everyone* had an opinion on that. OK then, I'll move on to something safe like a slide show...

30/3/07 4:53 p.m.  
Blogger LDahl said...

I can think of better things to do with chocolate. This is one of those things where the idea is pretty strong. Chocolate eggs make some small sense... rabbits are acceptable...even the cross I've seen done. I'm thinking this way(even if I shouldn't)I am equally glad it was done and people are protesting. It makes you stop and think about what impact ideas have... and what is tasteful and what is not. But more importantly, why.
Do you think if he'd done a chocolate "Buddy Christ" he would have gotten the same response?

30/3/07 5:14 p.m.  
Blogger Cream said...

480,000 calories!
That could feed more than the 5000...

31/3/07 2:44 a.m.  
Blogger Merisi's Vienna For Beginners said...

Honestly, Andrea, I looked at the picture a long time yesterday, and thought long and hard about it, couldn't see the scandal in a sculpture made out of chocolate (well, I wished it was bittersweet chocolate instead of milk, but then again, somebody would have found a not so sweet irony in the "bitter" component, I guess). Would it be less "offensive" if it was made out of Carrara marble? It being presented in the days before Easter? Well, nobody objects against those stupid looking "Easter" bunnies (immagine, somebody "inventing" it nowadays, oh the protests!).
The gallery's creative director submitting his resignation "over the incident"? That's the scandal, for me (who forced him to "resign"?). So much for freedom of art. Rather sad. :-(

31/3/07 4:32 a.m.  
Blogger Ces said...

Hi Andrea I just got here and you know I always have an opinion much to the dismay of other people! Chocolate Jesus. Why does it have to be called Chocolate Jesus, why not Chocolate Man. I will certainly know which part I will snap off, cut off or disarticulate immediately...yes, his finger. Blaspheming the symbols of Christian religion is so fashionable among artists and performers and they do so because Christians do not react with impunity. Remember the Mohammad drawings in Europe? I wonder what would have happened if this guy created a Chocolate Mohammad? The art and performance become irrelevant and the focus is on the artist and performer who in the end become infamous for such creation. I see it as freedom of ridiculous and senseless expression. It's a waste of chocolate.

31/3/07 7:04 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Yay! Some opinions!

Ldahl: I tend to agree with you ~ it's impossible to know the limits of our beliefs or gain a proper perspective on what's worthy of our attention unless we test the waters occasionally, and art is a safe and appropriate place to do just that. I think the Catholics and Christians who object could better spend their negative energy dealing with poverty, hunger in the third world and global warming.

Merisi: So-called 'freedom of speech' is a good point, but don't get me started on that...

Ces: I agree on one thing you said, anyway: it's a waste of chocolate. But like Merisi said, it *is* only milk chocolate after all... :)

31/3/07 7:36 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Cream: Sorry -- missed you. I laughed when I read your reaction. Always the gourmet! :)

31/3/07 7:38 a.m.  
Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

I saw this poor chap defending his right to artistic expression against the Catholic Pit Bull on 360 last night.
Shades of Mohammed Cartoons eh wot.
First of all the melting pot of the Easter Bunny and chocolate is nothing short of delicious irony.

The fertility rites of Eostere and all of the other borrowed symbolic associations are unavoidable and totally worth discussing. Why are the RC watchdogs always so weak kneed about everything..why is everything a threat? Are they worried that if people dug a little deeper into the mystique that they might 'passover' some of the glaring inconsistencies of their dogma and start to question the authenticity of the entire ritualistic exorcise..exercise?

The RC spokesmen said that it was equal to putting swastikas on stamps! HUH.

Whatever. Anytime anybody gets this defensive and tries to limit the opinions or expressions of others we need to question the basic motivation for such censorship. In this case it is obvious.

Whether it is in 'Good Taste' or not is up the the paying public to decide and not to authoritarian overlords. The Religiously Correct people are their own worst enemy...they increased the awareness level one million times by being so myopic.

31/3/07 10:29 a.m.  
Blogger Merisi's Vienna For Beginners said...

"I saw this poor chap defending his right to artistic expression against the Catholic Pit Bull on 360 last night."

HC, this poor chap chose of his own free will to create a piece of art he must have known it may be a little controversial, don't you think? Now he gets all this free publicity, and all of a sudden whoever doesn't think it's only a fine piece of art may not say so? Why should it be that only Non-Christians are allowed to have an opinion, have license to provocate and offend and feel offended? Doesn't this run contrary to the right that the artist is claiming for himself (and he should have it, that's what freedom is about)?
One thing I'd like to mention:
If you want to see an Old Master outside a museum, where do you go? In whose church can these paintings still be admired by anybody who so desires, even though they may have been very controversial when they were created? Why is that so?

31/3/07 1:31 p.m.  
Blogger CSL said...

I always have such mixed feelings about this sort of thing. It doesn't offend me personally, and in fact maybe the melding of sweet chocolate and a christ figure is actually a compliment. But I can also imagine how people might be offended. I'd be inclined to let the exhibit stay, let people voice their feelings about it either way.

1/4/07 8:45 a.m.  
Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

This was obviously a very calculated endeavour and a blatant attempt to gain instant ntoriety.
Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should but one man's ceiling is another man's floor.
One hundred years from now (hopefully) historians will scratch their heads as to why these taboos persisted despite hundreds of years of evidence that should have laid to rest any notions of the primacy of the Religious Estate as a benevolent institution that had the best interests of the great unwashed at the forefront of their mandate.

The cartoons of Mohammed that caused such righteous indignation are the best example that sentient beings need to combat this malarky at every opportunity because it will not end until one of them regains absolute power over every aspect of our everyday lives.

If you don't like it don't go see it and unless it is created at the physical expense of another living being it is nothing more than an idea.

We had a local artist who strung up dead rabbits in the woods and thought that it was Art? Nobody saw it and everybody recognised that she needed therapy so it works both ways.

Art fo Art sake,
Money for God sake! 10cc

2/4/07 7:53 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

:) ~ That was me, pleased to see some discussion happening here. I think you both have good points and I'm on side with CSL. It's something we need to talk about but not restrict/control. The artist himself is irrelevant.

2/4/07 9:08 a.m.  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

I find something good in this. Particularily appealing. My formative years, the first 40 anyways, I was quite dead set against these sorts of displays of personal expression. I always felt panic when I saw how the Easter tradition had become so NOT what it was intended to be. The message was supposed to be Christ and not bunnies and Chocolate.
With my current thinking, I'm pleased to see that others are also poking at the dead things to see if there is life. I think this SWEET JESUS is a very good expression of some of those fears. I am willing to stop and look and think.
To this beholder, it is not offensive. But we are all at different places, aren't we?

3/4/07 11:42 a.m.  
Blogger Philip said...

I see nothing wrong or controversial about this. Churches of all kinds have sought to control or censor art both now and over past centuries. I think the decision to remove the work was a big mistake. It was like the attempt to stop the film The Da Vinci Code being seen. Sad really.

5/4/07 7:28 p.m.  

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