Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lucinda Naylor's "The Wave"

Last night Doug and I visited the vacant storefront at 2756 Hennepin Ave. S. in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. It wasn't really vacant, however. Far from it.

Indeed, throughout the evening scores of people passed through, live music played, and an unusual work of art captivated everyone's attention and generated much conversation.

Yes, last night saw local artist Lucinda Naylor (pictured with me at left) display for the first time her new sculpture, "The Wave."

As regular Wild Reed readers would know, Lucinda is the former artist-in-residence at the Basilica of St. Mary. She was "suspended" from this position after going public with her plans to create a work of art with unwanted copies of the DVD at the center of the Minnesota Catholic bishops' recent anti-gay marriage campaign.

Following are some images of Lucinda's artwork along with her "Artist's Statement."

Above: Catching "the Wave" with Doug and Maura - October 29, 2010.

The Wave

By Lucinda Naylor
in collaboration with two thousand households

Media: Repurposed DVDs

These discs originally carried a divisive message sent in the name of the Catholic Church, seeking to block the civil rights of same-sex couples. I say sent in the name of the Church, but not the Church I know. The Church I know is inclusive, not exclusive.

For fifteen years, as artist-in-residence at the Basilica of Saint Mary, I used whatever materials I could scrounge from a budget-strapped liturgical department to create art for all the seasons of the church year. When I heard about these DVDs, I thought "Free art material! I'll turn them into art."

I put out a call on Facebook, asking people to donate their DVDs to my project. I called it DVD to ART.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The first DVD arrived in a bag of bagels. People slid DVDs through my mailbox, passed them to me in the pews, threw them into collection boxes outside several churches. They sent them to Reyurn the DVD with notes saying "Turn me into art." Church workers passed them along, laughingly, "under cover of night." Over and over, I heard, "Thank you for changing this message into one of love."

Some DVDs came broken, scratched, written on: "Return to sender, offensive material." "Not in my name." "You are not alone." Repeatedly they quoted Jesus: "Love one another, as I have love you."

Thank you to everyone who passed along a DVD.

The Wave is about the Spirit of inclusion and love, which is sweeping through the Catholic Church as it continues to change, as usual, from the people up to the hierarchy.

Above: With my friend Joan.

Above: The Wailing Wall Quilt.

Notes Lucinda:

This wall of DVD sleeves was inspired by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, where people tuck their prayers on pieces of paper. Remembering my grandmother's quilting bees, I invited women and girls to sew the sleeves together, using their own creativity to create a "square." I invite you to leave your thoughts and prayers here.

Above: Writing my prayer for the Wailing Wall Quilt.

A prayer for transformation . . . of hearts, minds, attitudes, structures, beliefs . . . from fear to love.

Above: The reflection of my hand entwined with my boyfriend Doug's on one of the anti-gay marriage DVDs. This photo was Doug's idea! And it's a wonderfully subversive one, don't you think? I also love how there are rainbow colors on the metallic surface of the disc!

Recommended Off-site Links:
Wave-Making DVDs Now Wavy Artwork – Rose French (Star Tribune, October 28, 2010).
Artist Makes Waves with Protest Art for Marriage Equality – Kittredge Cherry (Jesus in Love Blog, October 30, 2010).
Minnesota Bishops on Gay Marriage – Fred de Sam Lazaro (Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, October 29, 2010).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Local Artist Suspended Over "DVD to ART" Project
Local Catholics Seek to "Create Some Good Out of an Unfortunate Situation"
Bring Out Your DVDs!
Quote of the Day – September 25, 2010
Quote of the Day – October 29, 2010

Images: Michael J. Bayly and Doug Abbott.


Mareczku said...

I don't know why but I am crying as I read this. Tears are running down my face. The picture of your hand and Doug's hand in the last picture and the colors in it are very moving to me. Still it is hard for me to understand the hate.

Anonymous said...

The clerical Church has pretty much banished art since it has banished any honest expression of human feeling (not only gay feeling). But art is taking its revenge in the gentlest, most prophetic style.

Kittredge Cherry said...

I love the photo of your hand entwined with your boyfriend in the rainbow reflections of the DVD. Thanks for letting me share it at the Jesus in Love Blog too. Here’s the link, with an update about how some of the DVDs have become ornaments on a Christmas tree: