"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Eat dung...

Remember the controversy over the "Dung Madonna" shown at the Brooklyn Museum a few years ago?
For the most part, the only thing most Catholic defenders knew about the painting is what media reported... And all they needed to hear was an image of Mary was covered in elephant-dung - then it hit the fan. Everyone went ballistic, even the pro-abortion Catholic mayor registered his protest - No doubt with an eye to the Catholic vote down the road.
As is usually the case, the controversy quickly died down. Although today I have to wonder if the same people would get all bent out of shape over this news; "Out of food, Zimbabweans eating cow dung"? I find that revolting.
Our Lady, Protectress of the Poor and Starving, pray for us.
Image: Ethiopian Madonna, 17th century. I removed the Dung Madonna from the original post so as not to offend anyone or show any disrespect to Our Lady - I replaced it with this detail of an Ethiopian icon. However, I personally found the original image interesting and inoffensive, noting similarities with more primitive images of the Virgin painted centuries ago. But more importantly, in light of recent news from Zimbabwe, the controversial image took on greater significance for me today.


  1. People that deliberately "paint" the Virgin in dung or drop crucifixes in urine are not making statements about starving children in Africa, they are making statements about their own "issues" in what they think is a clever way. Then, clever people who stand around drinking wine and congratulating themselves on their own coolness while they were Karl Lagerfeld can feel enlightened.

    I used to know an artist that did all his work using his own crap as the medium. He made no allusions to pomposity, he even admitted it he did it to shock people. Is art all about taboo breaking? Should it be? That was his take he was weird.

    I know what point you are trying to make but I rarely resist the urge to rant and be cranky.

    Provacative post, luv!

  2. I meant "wear" not were Karl Lagerfeld! I refuse to retype all that again. I can't be that smug and arrogant all over again! Durn it!

  3. Thanks Cath - I know you understand what I meant in the post.

    No, art should not be about taboo breaking. In my opinion, your friend and the guy who did the crucifix in urine have issues and are obviously dishonest. I admit I don't know enough about the dung artist to judge his motivation - however the work took on a new meaning for me - for the reasons stated in the post.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.