Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Friday, April 3, 2015

Taste and Parody collide with Art and Music

The Indie Band Hold Your Horses! web link

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! (official music video)

Matching the Art with the Scenes

What the Master Pieces Meant

Matching the Art with the Scenes

70 Million Lyrics
Hold Your Horses!

And it hardly looked like a novel at all,
I hardly look like a hero at all
And I'm sorry, you didn't publish this
And you were white as snow; I was white as a sheet

When you came down in this black dress
In your mom's black maternity dress
And so,
Though it hardly looked like a novel at all,
And the city treats me, it treats me to you
And a cup of coffee for you
I should learn it's language and speak it to you

And 70 million should be in the know
And 70 million don't go out at all
And 70 million wouldn't walk this street
And 70 million would run to a hole
And 70 million would be wrong wrong wrong
And 70 million never see it at all
And 70 million haven't tasted snow

And we dance dance dance like the children dance
Imply thought are we taking the chance?
With the light still on, and will we ever reach the tower

And after you came down in this black dress
I don't know what took so very long
And this,
And this isn't a war, we don't have to ration
Now wave white flag, and you kept it at home
And words I wrote from a foreign land
You're holding my no longer foreign hand

And 70 million should be in the know
And 70 million don't go out at all
And 70 million wouldn't walk this street
And 70 million would run to a hole
And 70 million would be wrong wrong wrong
And 70 million never see it at all
And 70 million haven't tasted snow

* * * * * * * * * *

In the music video for the song "70 Million," indie pop band
Hold Your Horses! interprets 25 paintings, including
Magritte's  The Son of Man. | L'Ogre


May 1, 2010
How a rock band restaged art-history classics for a music video that went viral.

As Salome carries his head on a silver platter, John the Baptist opens his eyes and sings a merry little melody to the camera.

That scene -- enacted by members of the French-American indie pop band Hold Your Horses! -- helped turn the music video for their song “70 Million” into a viral hit on the Internet, viewed nearly 300,000 times within two weeks of its being posted on the Web site Vimeo.

But it wasn’t this live-action re-staging of Caravaggio‘s Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist alone that did it. The three-minute video, created by the small production house L’Ogre, careens through 25 tableaux vivants of iconic works, ranging from Velázquez‘s Las Meninas to Munch‘s The Scream, from Manet‘s Olympia to Klimt‘s The Kiss.

All this art history was filmed over two weekends in a parking garage in Paris, using chalk drawings as backdrops and a smoke machine for fog. To re-create the cloudy sky in Michelangelo‘s Sistine Chapel ceiling, the production team ripped out the stuffing from 200 pillows. “The idea was to make the paintings youthful and funny and rock-and-roll,” the video’s director, David Freymond, says. “We were not trying to be too academic.”

The video begins with Jesus, from Leonardo‘s The Last Supper, drumming on a pot with a pair of wooden spoons. Frida Kahlo (from her self-portraits), van Gogh (from his Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear), and Picasso‘s muse Dora Maar (from his Portrait of Dora Maar) are among the recognizable characters taking subsequent turns with the upbeat tune. One band member sings while smoking a cigarette, interpreting Otto Dix‘s Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden.

The music video “breaks with the image of a rock band,” Freymond says. “This poor band has to get naked—to re-create Renaissance paintings.” Well, not entirely naked: the Venus of Botticelli‘s The Birth of Venus wears a guitar as a cover-up.

The irreverent effort—for an enigmatic song the band claims is about the shifting feelings in a romantic relationship—required feats of costuming. A head covering and the perfect piece of jewelry turned guitarist Charles van den Boogaerde into Vermeer‘s Girl with a Pearl Earring. A bowler hat transformed bassist Robin Montmusson into Magritte‘s Son of Man. The same hat, adorned with a feather, appears in a staging of Holbein the Younger‘s Henry VIII.

To become Van Gogh’s sunflowers, band members covered their arms in green paint. Cellist Simon Tordjman had his face painted white, blue, red, yellow, and black to approximate a Mondrian painting. And six of the band’s seven members got to play the part of Warhol‘s Marilyn Monroe. They all wore the same wig, spray-painted a different color for each shot.

Part of the fun is watching unlikely subjects bang out the tune. The cadaver in Rembrandt‘s The Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Nicolaes Tulp reaches over to play a few notes on a melodica, for example. In an evocation of Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters, by an unknown 16th-century painter, a shirtless musician sways his head to the beat as he pinches the nipple of a comrade strumming a guitar. In most cases instruments are not in the original artworks, with Chagall‘s The Bride a notable exception: as in the painting, in the music video a goat (or rather a man with a goat mask attached to his head) plays the cello.

Florence Villeminot, drummer and vocalist, has starring roles in the stagings of The Creation of Adam, from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Leonardo’s The Last Supper, and Eugène Delacroix‘s Liberty Leading the People. “I was happy because I got to be God, the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and Liberty. That was my goal when I joined the band,” Villeminot quips.

In order of “appearance” in the Hold Your Horses! music video for “70 Million”:

  • Leonardo, The Last Supper (1492–98)
  • Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (ca. 1485)
  • Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Nicolaes Tulp (1632)
  • Holbein the Younger, Henry VIII (ca. 1536)
  • Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring (ca. 1665–66)
  • Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa (1818–19)
  • Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Marat (1793)
  • Michelangelo, The Creation of Adam (ca. 1511)
  • Magritte, The Son of Man (1964)
  • Mondrian, after various compositions
  • Frida Kahlo, after several self-portraits
  • Picasso, Portrait of Dora Maar (1937)
  • Munch, The Scream (1893)
  • Van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889)
  • Warhol, after various Marilyns
  • Unknown artist, Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters (ca. 1594)
  • Cenni di Pepo, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Six Angels (ca. 1280)
  • Caravaggio, Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist (1606–7)
  • Manet, Olympia (1863)
  • Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People (1830)
  • Otto Dix, Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden (1926)
  • Klimt, The Kiss (1907–8)
  • Chagall, The Bride (1950)
  • Velázquez, Las Meninas (ca. 1656)
  • Van Gogh, Vase with 12 Sunflowers (1888)

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* * * * * * * * * *

70 million
by whart

This isn’t about an art event/exhibition (I have something else from that I’m still trying to edit) but I found an interesting video – interesting, humorous and pretty creative. It’s a music video for the band Hold Your Horses.

[First question]... How many paintings did you recognize? :)

Anyway, I guess this is a highly relevant video considering that we were discussing how advertising appropriates art in the last lesson. This is a pretty literal example of it, and it is also an example of parody. I think there are two possible implications.

1) The humour is disrespectful to the artworks as it violates their sanctity and doesn’t bring out their original meaning or context context e.g. if you think about how serious and emotional a Van Gogh painting is and how it has been turned into a funny singing man.

Also, the use of art for advertising [music] is objectionable…turning a priceless creation into low entertainment and a way to earn money.

The second one is the one most people will have and the one that I personally had.

2) It is humorous, but not in a malicious way. Seeing old and familiar artworks portrayed in a new way that is not mocking of them, but took creativity to plan and execute, is pleasant and inspiring. It is a lighthearted take on paintings that might otherwise be regarded as serious or boring by most people, and an expression of the band and director’s own creativity.

That is the view I lean more towards, although I won’t deny that the video doesn’t do justice to many of the original artworks’ emotional content and sense of pathos. In that sense I think I am quite pragmatic about art and reproductions

I would rather a piece of artwork be reproduced, reused, given new meaning and made
relevant to a new audience rather than remain a sacred object that only a few people
are motivated to try and understand on a deeper level. (As long as the meaning is not
in conflict with the old one, and as long as it is not used for banal/unrelated/really
disrespectful like my toilet paper holder.)

It was the same thing when we were having the show and tell with all the appropriated/reproduced art we found and I said about my Coldplay album that I felt it was an acceptable use of art.

I guess you could say that both the video and the album cover do this. They are appropriating the artwork’s of the Old Masters, and on one hand it is a form of advertising (advertising to get people to buy the music) but on the other hand I feel they are creative endeavours in their own right.

The Coldplay album is part of a whole musical concept and idea the band is trying to evoke, while the direction and production of a video is a difficult and creative process. The paintings are the creative works of the past, but these are the creative works of the present, and we can’t deny that they have a broader appeal in today’s world.

Thus, I think it is a mistake to dismiss all reproduction as harmful and disrespectful to art. It isn’t something that can be stamped out or ignored, and like everything else, it has ambiguous and double-edged impacts, and some of these impacts can be positive, inspiring and creative. I feel that if we take all paintings so seriously and deny any kind of perspective or commentary on them other than the serious, classical, respectful one, we are not doing justice to their complexity and the way people relate to them.

-- Grace