Sunday, May 21, 2006

Good Question.
Short answer: it doesn't
Long answer: historically the temple or the synagogue, has been the place of worship. It was the place where the presence of God resided. Its where the people went to pray and worship, its where the high priests met with God and gave sacrifices. where they pleaded on behalf of the people for God's forgiveness.

With the incarnation of Jesus and the new covenant that he created by conquering death, the sacrifices were no longer necessary and everyone, not only the high priests, are able to converse with God. God no longer was confined to the holy of holies in the temple but his presence is with us wherever we go. He lives in us, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
And yet for centuries, we still continue to worship in buildings built specifically. I dont think that in itself is a bad thing. It is good for a community of Christ to have a place they can go to fellowship with each other and praise God as a collective.

Cathedrals are said to have been built to honour God, built with riches and magnificence so show the majesty of God. They wanted to House of God to be fitting for their King. However this was often done at the expense of the people, of the uneducated and the lower class. people were told they had to pay money and confess their sins in order to go to heaven, if the scriptures were not made available to the people and they in fact couldn't read anyway how were they to know that al that was required was a confession of sins and a belief in their heart that Jesus is Lord over all and they would be saved. but it was this money that provided for a lot of the cathedrals to be erected. its a contradiction that money was gained by dishonesty was used to build a place that honoured God. To communicate the power and majesty of God to an uneducated population through an excessive display of wealth where material wealth showed spiritual spirituality is more than a bit hypocritical.

These things aside, the buildings still provide a place of worship. And i have been in a few of these cathedrals where there are people worshipping in sincerity and the presence of God can be felt there. It is true of a church building where the ways of the world are not infiltrating the space, that it is easier to meet with God there.

However that is not to say that we should only be worshipping in these places.
I am an advocate of the concept of having a church without walls. And that is kind of where my conceptual idea orginated from. I wanted to make a transparent church. Where the worshippers on the inside were aware of what was going on outside them, this deals with issues of christians sometimes being too focused on looking upward and never on looking outward.
And the people on the outside can see what is going on inside, this deals with issues of hypocrisy, where sometimes the church hides behind their walls and their religion, to hide their corruption or to justify the things they do.

The way that my work is developing, and thinking about these issues in how i should present this as an installation, it would seem that the best way to show it is to hang it outdoors. As much as i want people to walk through it, in order to experience something, i can't force them, just like i can't force Jesus onto anyone. but i can encourage it.
It needs to hang outside because to install it in a room would deny the concepts of breaking down the walls. And i would love to have it integrating into nature. to be in nature but not of nature.

so this work, while it is imitating the structure of the place of worship, is not being made to create another place of worship, but it commenting on the conventions that these places of worship have propogated.

perhaps.... im still working on it


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