GUILTY ARTIST DEFENDS WORK
Catalyst July/August Issue 2006
One of the artists whose drawing appeared in the March issue of the University of Oregon’s the Insurgent defended his work.
John Correa, in the Oregon Daily Emerald, defended his drawing of Jesus crucified, kissing a red-skinned demon. Correa began by stating that he did not create the work “specifically for the March issue,” but rather for an art class at the University.
Correa, among other things, said there is a “clear message of eros” in Jesus’s sacrificial act of being crucified. Correa said if the body of Christ is a human body, “it is subject to the same erotic gaze as all human bodies.” In talking about Jesus’s body, he referred to the “tasteless wafers given out in churches during Communion.” Correa said, “You cannot have your wafer and eat it too.”
Correa also said by depicting Jesus kissing a red demon, he was challenging the homophobia of Christian doctrine. Correa identified himself as “queer,” and said in his view, “queerness is a natural part of the human experience.” He said Christ “could just as easily have experienced queerness as any other human being.”
Both statements don’t take into account what the Catholic Church, and other Christian churches have been teaching for more than 2,000 years. Correa’s statements simply support the argument conscientious Christians have been making: Jesus and his Church, Christians and their beliefs are not being shown the proper respect. It’s this lack of respect that has Christians upset.
Correa also wrote in his editorial that the March issue of the Insurgent has led to “one of the most intellectually and culturally engaging conversations that has happened at the University” in the 10 years that he’s lived in Eugene. Would Correa support a school newspaper printing offensive material about homosexuals in order to intellectually and culturally engage the University community? He, and the University, would probably be up in arms. They should be over the March issue of the Insurgentas well.