Bearing Witness: Experiencing the Stations
As you take your journey through the exhibit, which traces Jesus’s own path from condemnation to burial in the tomb, let yourself be challenged to consider the questions that follow. The objective is to re-contextualize and renew your appreciation of this ancient and well-known story, so that it continues to speak to your imagination and to our understanding of our own theological and spiritual needs.
† Consider the nexus between art and faith and spirituality. What purpose for you do the artworks on view serve? What do the interpretations share in common with the Stations in our sanctuary? Which do you find more visually stimulating and satisfying? Do the contemporary works change how you “see” and understand all that Christ suffered for us? Why or why not?
† Think about your initial reactions to this exhibition. To which artworks are your eyes first drawn? Of the interpretations, which do you find most surprising, and why? What metaphors are used? What effects does the artist’s interpretations, individually or collectively, have on your experience of the Passion? To what might you attribute the emotions you feel while viewing the exhibit? What questions, if any, do the works raise in your mind?
† Consider whether and in what ways the artworks suggest or draw a relationship between the Passion as portrayed traditionally and our more contemporary, if nonetheless abstract, notions of suffering and forgiveness.
† Ask yourself why, these many thousands of years later, the story of Christ’s Passion retains so central a place in our faith. Why and in what way does art relate that story more effectively (if it does for you) than words on the page?
† Reflect on the difficult-to-solve issues we struggle with today: hate and persecution, injustice, discrimination, homelessness, placelessness, economic inequity, food insecurity, violence. Can you find parallels in the artworks with Christ’s own suffering? What connections can we make between our experiences today and our understanding of the story of Christ’s own crucifixion and sacrifice? Are there lessons we can apply?
† Think of how the art in this exhibition both resists and confronts, while also enlarging, perhaps even transforming, your perspectives on the world of our making and the world as it is to come.