LOS ANGELES MUSEUM HOSTS ATTACK ON VIRGIN MARY
Catalyst November Issue 1997
The Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting an exhibition by Robert Gober that is a direct attack on the Virgin Mary. Gober, who describes himself as an ex-Catholic gay man upset with the Church’s teachings on sexuality, has decided to express his outrage by defiling the Mother of God. His work was displayed in September and will continue to December 14.
In the promotional literature for Gober’s work, it says that after sculpting Our Blessed Mother in clay, and then draping her in a robe made of plaster, the artist “pierced his Virgin Mary with a phallic culvert pipe.” The point of this is then explained: “The fact that the corrugated pipe’s screwlike ribs penetrate the body bloodlessly evokes the Immaculate Conception by which the Virgin Mary was conceived in her mother’s womb without the violent stain of original sin, as well as the miraculous conception of Christ himself. Yet, the culvert deprives the Virgin Mary of the womb from which Christ was born.”
William Donohue provided this statement to the press:
“The Catholic Church is under attack by those who are obsessed with sexual license precisely because they see the Church as their nemesis. Under special attack these days is the Virgin Mary. It is not hard to understand why: her natural goodness and purity stands in stark contrast to the moral destitution of her adversaries.
“As I wrote to the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘there is a difference between creativity and creative license, the latter of which best describes Gober’s work.’ I also made the point that the Catholic League does not want the work censored by government. But, I hastened to add, he was ‘under no obligation to promote it [Gober’s work], unless, of course, you identify with the message.’ ‘That would be tragic,’ I continued, ‘because that would make you, like Gober, a bigot.’”
Members can write to Richard Koshalek, Director of the Contemporary Art, 250 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90012.