Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Faith exists in a vacuum. It’s the invisible we see, the nothingness we grasp, the silences that sing to us in all this terrible emptiness. 

The Word became flesh to take on the sins of the world - - -and somehow complicated things a little. Jesus Christ was a ghost in a shell, a human embodiment of the divine. But he also embodied a schism - - - supernatural/natural, body/soul, spirit/flesh. His physicality became the seeable, the graspable, the audible. The corporeal made corporal. And everything made in his image and in his name gains this totemic charge - - -the statuaries and rosaries and holy oils. But it’s not as if Catholicism is riven by all these polarities, more like it feeds off them, it’s faith as talisman and ritual - - - visceral, theatrical, sensory. And tactile - - -there’s this mania for the tactile. Something to touch and be touched by, if you will, manifested in this almost hysteric exuberance, this mad ecstatic frenzy. It’s as if the commune between human and divine had taken on a tinge of the carnal. 

Who knows where devotion ends and hysteria begins - - -and is there a difference between the two? But could there be more than just some pidgin iteration of faith here? More than just blind fealty? Could there be,perhaps, a genuine and deep-seated longing? Touch these facsimiles of divinity and something happens - - - a transfer of energies, a crackle of transcendence, a brush with divinity itself. In their profound hollows exist vacuums, after all. These vacuums that are the muck of insatiable mysteries. Imagine what awaits anyone tapping into them. What invisibilities we’ll see, what nothingness we’ll grasp, what silences will sing to us.

Fervor: A Study of the Black Nazarene, 2009-2011
a collaboration by Katrina Bello (video) and Dodo Dayao (text)

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