Just in time for Easter comes news that an associate art professor at Wheaton College has covered a large statue of Jesus with dirt – or more precisely: vacuum dust.
“Literally, this dirt contains skin cells from the community. The idea is that our bodies are now connected to the body of Christ,” Professor David Hooker told the Chicago-Tribune. “At first, some might find it disgusting, or even sacrilegious, but I hope people can get past that and see the meaning behind it.”
Wheaton is a private, Christian liberal arts college in Illinois. As Hooker sees it, Jesus died for humanity’s sins, so covering him with our dead skin cells just makes sense.
The dust represents “our sins or uncleanliness,” he told the Chicago-Tribune. “It’s our collective dust.”
A video of the artwork taken by the newspaper shows Hooker as he separates the vacuum dust from the larger parts of the debris the machines have sucked up, such as paper bits. He sort of jokingly mentions that the custodial staff has been a big help with the whole project. Then he meticulously paints the fine vacuum dust on Jesus’ body, from head to toe. The end result appears to look as though the statue is almost made out of stone.
The artwork is called “Corpus” and is slated to be unveiled with a larger collection in April at the college. The Chicago-Tribune goes on to note that:
Those who see the art will have to judge it for themselves, said Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College. He hopes they’ll see the college’s message of “our need for God’s grace, and that means being honest about our own failings.”
“I think good art, or the best art, always provokes a response,” he said. “I think most people, when they see this, will understand there are lot of things that are disappointing and even dirty about us and see the Christian message that God loves us in spite of our sins.”
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Comment below on whether this is art, or something else.