How do people deal with endings, and beginnings, and then endings again? Apparently approaches do vary. Some peoples’ brains implode just thinking about living on a little planet in a spiral arm of the Milky Way, while others prefer to channel their incredulity into more widely recognized religious iconography, replete with dances, spins, flashy clothing and arcane headgear. Regardless of everyone’s entré, the whole “what can possibly be next?” mystery seems to remain quite unknowable.
Rather than dwell upon unknowables and faith-based doctrines, or to try to calculate how many times something could orbit something else, lets just beg off and check out what’s happening on the street.
Artists are all over the map when it comes to religion. Some artists play with the idea that humans are pre-disposed to being ruled by a ‘god’. Often, they envision a benevolent long-haired hippy looking dolefully at the viewer, while others prefer wrath and an overbearingly paternal viewpoint.
There are opinions in existence that endorse non-existence. A renewed and growing atheism is spreading on the streets, and this non-position occasionally rattles the status quo.
Many artists have completely wandered away from the religious norm and mix current political slogans with iconography and come up with images that either exalt or insult.
These images were found in Warwick, UK, and in Shoreditch, London.
Some artists include characters of established religions as a central theme of their work. The Virgin Mary appears regularly!!! Even after two thousand years, just like the BBC, she still struggles with the hierarchical glass ceiling. She remains sidelined from that all-powerful ghost-and-boys club, dubbed The Holy Trinity. Yet, despite Mary’s secondary billing and the snub, this canonical girl often gets equal billing on the street.
Mary’s son didn’t fare so well, either.
Even the ultimate show-stopper, raising himself from the dead, was not impressive enough to spare him; it appears that he and John Lennon may have shared the same sentiments.
“. . . . you know it ain’t easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They’re going to crucify me”
Performance pieces have also popped up that explore human fascination with JC’s historic crucifixion. Participatory re-enactments, at a mere £5 each, are actually quite affordable.
Occasionally there is also a blurring of the lines between religion and corporate imagery.
Brand recognition weasels itself into the conversation with the likes of Disney and Coca-Cola often making appearances.
Even the Tarot, considered dark magic by some, makes an appearance on the street. This particular grouping stands in the Nomadic Commnity Garden off of Brick Lane.
Just a quick aside to whoever drew this collection of Major Arcana cards – for your own wellbeing, toss out that Devil card right away. Your life will be so much more fun if you replace it with the Sun. Just sayin’.
In the fray there are those who prefer to side with sinners and many opt for a final cold brewsky before heading down any dark tunnel.
Me – my needs are simpler. If someone would just turn my water into wine, that would be nice.