Interesting to note that, even after all these years, Andreas Serrano’s work, the ‘Piss Christ’ is still causing controversy over in the US as the election approaches. (Thanks, Barry, for the link)
Many years ago, when I focused more on theology, I wrote The Complex Christ (Signs of Emergence in the US) which had a chapter looking at the whole area of ‘dirt’ from a sociological perspective, and what theology needed to learn from it. In particular, to quote Carl Jung, it needed to realise that it had (and mostly still has) remained a place ‘purified to the point of sterility.’
Ezra Pound once wrote that ‘humanity is the rich effluvium; it is the waste and the manure and the soil and from it grows the tree of the arts.‘ So, drawing on Rumi – a great dirt-spreader in Islam – and other Trickster figures from Lewis Hyde’s excellent book Trickster Makes This World – Mischief Myth and Art – here’s an excerpt from that book, the chapter on dirt, and dirt-work, that I hope anyone who has mixed feelings about Serrano’s work will read… and see the beauty that lies within.
Download it here.