The Daily Pic

06.24.13

A New Twist on the Crucifixion

Daily Pic: Wim Delvoye rethinks a Christian icon.

Only a few more days to catch “Dual Möbius Quad Corpus”, one of the best pieces ever by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, who is now enjoying a solo show at Sperone Westwater gallery in New York. This truly bizarre object, worthy of the furthest bywaters of Catholic eccentricity, consists of four bronze Christs crucified on a single cross that’s been turned in on itself – the only way to accomplish this perverse four-in-one  task, according to Delvoye. What matters most about the piece is that it doesn’t read as pure and arbitrary surrealism. The object sets itself a goal, of sorts, and then achieves it in an orderly way. Looking at it, you are forever wanting to undistort its four life-size figures and “resurrect” them to a normal state, like the skull in Holbein’s “Ambassadors”. I have almost never seen modern takes on Christian symbols that genuinely work, seeming to move the tradition forward without leaving its roots behind. By which I guess I mean that I can imagine some Spanish penitent, circa 1600, getting something from Delvoye’s piece.

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