Much to Jason’s horror I took some notes of his talk on images of Jesus from the Roman Empire to the first decade of the twenty-first century.  Apparently he paints as well as does poetry.  A man of many talents is our Jason.

The anti-ascension of the Christ sounds like Jesus trips and falls flat on his face which would be the point of The Virgin Spanking the Christ-Child Before Three Witnesses.

The Virgin Spanking The Christ Child Before Three Witnesses by Max Ernst

The witnesses seem unconcerned to this child abuse going on before them.

We make the Christ into our own image in each generation.  When we encounter the stranger god he becomes a reflection of our own imagination.  When we portray the Christ, we must slay it!  In Roman times the Christ was the emperor, or a sage, in a toga, a citizen of Empire in a costume that had already become old-fashioned.  Another generation and he had become the Christian Soldier in a centurion’s leathers, bearing the cross like a sword and the Bible as the shield of faith.

It is a small step from these images to the icons of Greek and Russian Churches.  The Trinity is dancing in each other’s way.  The Cross is the Axis of the World from god and the angels in heaven breaking through Adam’s skull into hell.  Christ is on the Cross but does not suffer.  He seems impatient or bored.  The pain of Christ on the Cross is most strongly expressed through images of liberation theology because Christ the image of the poor is crucified daily.

The Chocolate Christ

This is my body, indeed!

The Lonely Christ c. 1520

He looks sad.  I understand that visitors respond emotionally to this sculpture.  I think he is sitting on the toilet.  A lot of people go there when they are sad and want to be left alone!

And speaking about toilet stops…

Piss Christ

Christ enters post-Christianity.  He is caught in the golden light of degraded matter.  The crucified one enters into our own suffering and persecution yet again.  Perhaps as Christ continues to fall on his face in this descending into art he will continue to inspire new and beautiful imagery.