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The Blessed Sacrilege
by Nora Geist :: You need to be a member to contact artists →Join :: Portfolio
A sinister and unholy triangle takes shape as the Abbess and the Countess discover a more intimate way to receive Holy Communion from the Saint (slides 1–6). Sweeping the rumours of the event under the carpet, the Church commemorates the Saint with beatification 50 years after his death. 500 years on from that, the Saint appears to two Church Historians, offering Communion to them both—thus initiating another unholy triangle which results in his official canonisation (slide 7).
I was inspired by Jan Saudek’s technique of hand painting his black and white photos to add a grotesque, mortal quality to his subject matter. Using Photoshop, my assistant Clare Cross meticulously coloured each frame to ignite the characters and action with a mixture of playfulness, feverish passion and perverse exhibitionism, "entombing" the subjects in "the flesh". In the first five slides, the symbol of power—the phallus (represented by the Saint’s erection)—is at the centre of each snapshot, so much so that the Saint ‘becomes’ his dick: the women’s and the viewer’s eyes cannot help being drawn to it as his particular identity drops away.
In the final slide the Saint’s erection is no less visible, but neither woman featured is looking directly at it. The historian to the left is bowing in reverence behind the Saint. The historian to the right is looking at the viewer with a measured expression of affirmation, betraying that she and the viewer know what will happen next. The Saint is appearing as a ‘complete’ reconstituted body as opposed to an organ without a body. He has a face, hands in the 'orans' position, legs, and appears almost innocent: an erotic effigy of the resurrection. The gaze is transformed from the male variety to the female. The viewer is drawn by the gaze of the historian on the right, to the Saint's erection as well as to the figure of a vagina that is formed by edges of the Saint’s cloak and the exposed portions of his torso (a gestalt of sorts that represents female drive and ultimate power not limited to desire). It won’t be long before the Saint is in the midst of the two women—fully in the flesh.
“That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past”.
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