The Arts

January
Napa, CA 
The exhibition “Active Ingredients” was held at Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts. One part of the exhibition shows the work of Antonio Miralda, a Catalonian artist. In a display that features figurines of famous people, Miralda chose to depict the pope and nuns defecating.

January 10
New York, NY 
- The Get Real Art Gallery opened an exhibit featuring the work of artist Paul Richard. Pope John Paul II was portrayed with a gerbil.

February
Mount Sterling, KY 
Beatitudes Betrayed, a traveling art exhibit, opened at the Gallery of the Arts, sponsored by the Montgomery County Council for the Arts, funded by the Kentucky Arts Council. The theme was “religious injustice.” Works by several artists depicted sexually repressed nuns, the “contradictory beliefs” of being pro-life and pro-capital punishment, women’s ordination, white Christian prejudice against blacks, a Jesus figure being pierced by huge thorns and The Last Luncheon (a parody of Da Vinci’s Last Supper with lunching women in the place of the apostles). In May the exhibit went to Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY.

February 8
St. Louis, MO
 - The Diane Shaffer play “Sacrilege” was shown at the Artloft Theatre in St. Louis. The play featured a nun who said she was “called” to be a priest. She spoke freely on the topics of abortion and sex education, never agreeing with the Church’s teachings on the topics. The character was thrown out of her order after giving the Last Rites to a dying man. All the priests in the play who were loyal to Church teachings were shown as selfish and sexist.

March 17
New York, NY 
- New York’s Jewish Museum opened an exhibit, “Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art.” It featured a number of controversial works that have upset many Jews. The Catholic League objected to the cover of the exhibit’s catalog, which featured a cross morphing into a swastika.

March 29
Arlington, TX
 - Theatre Arlington hosted the play “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” on Good Friday. It also ran on Easter, ending April 28. The play was advertised as a “Catholic School-Spoofing Musical” and “an irreverent romp.”

March 31
Washington, D.C. 
- On Easter Sunday, the Source Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., hosted the Terrence McNally play “Corpus Christi.” It depicts Christ having sex with the 12 apostles.

July 18
Williamstown, MA
 - Joe Orton’s play “Loot” opened at the Adams Memorial Theater. One of the characters, Fay, was described by Variety (7/29) as a “devoutly Roman Catholic serial murderer/nurse.”

July
New York, NY
 - Jean Genet’s 1950s play “Saintete” was presented for the first time in English as “Elle.” The play trashes the papacy in particular and Catholicism in general. Not surprisingly, Ben Brantley of the New York Times wrote that it was “impeccably vulgar…[and a] richly theatrical entertainment.”

August
Lenox, MA 
- During the Berkshire Festival Tour, the troupe “News in Review” performed a skit that showed priests and nuns engaging in sexual activity and referred to the Eucharist as “Oreo cookies.”

September 20
Atlanta, GA 
- “No Agenda But Their Own,” a feminist art show at the Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College, opened and ran until December 19. It included the work “Sacred Ovaries” by Florida artist Kate Kretz. It depicts the Blessed Mother in a luridly lit contemporary kitchen, her uterus and ovaries glowing red and encircled by a crown of thorns in the manner of the Immaculate Heart.

October
Huntington, NY
 - Peter Greenaway’s film, “The Baby of Macon,” was shown at the Cinema Arts Centre. The movie is about a 17th century woman who claims she had a virgin birth. It is also about the way she and the Catholic Church exploited her child. The flick features full nudity, a gynecological examination, eating of afterbirth and a Church-sponsored gang rape. The Cinema Arts Centre called it “a volatile mixture of anti-clericalism and violence.”

October 25
Minneapolis, MN 
- Terrence McNally’s play “Corpus Christi,” which depicts Christ having sex with the apostles, was given its Twin Cities premiere at the Performance Company.

November 15
Buffalo, NY 
- Terrence McNally’s play “Corpus Christi,” depicting Christ having sex with the apostles, was given a staged reading as a benefit for the Buffalo United Artists.

December 1
Minneapolis, MN
 - “Fall on Your Knees” starring Russ King as a drag “Miss Richfield 1981″ opened. He sings “Frosty the Snowman” to the tune of “Ave Maria” and includes a Nativity play done in the style of Tina Turner with lyrics such as “Joseph, stop that cursin’, proud Mary keep on nursin’.”

December 6
Somerville, MA 
- For the second year in a row, the Somerville Theater presented Faith Soloway’s “Jesus Has Two Mommies.” Called a “multi-media schlock opera,” the performance features Ms. Soloway, who plays herself, and Christine Cannavo, who plays her pregnant Irish-Catholic girlfriend; the two women join in a “commitment ceremony.” Ms. Soloway meets Jesus who assuages her fears about her non-traditional relationship: he admits to having two mommies, Mary and Josephine.


Share

Written by Bill