'Very Fine People on Both Sides' - for Barlaam of Antioch

62" x 36" x 48"

Cast iron, polyurethane plastic, cotton, steel, MDF

An extension of my research includes “sacred anatomy,” the pre-16th century practice of dismembering cadavers, particularly nobility and saints, in order to disperse the remains/relics for widespread worship of relics. This series of sculptures draws from Catholicism as a starting point, but the pieces were triggered by our current turbulent political climate. Threats to gender and racial equality, women’s empowerment, reproductive rights, voting rights, and intersectional human rights are shredding the fabric of society. Growing disparities permeate our daily lives, fueled by divisive speech and hateful actions. Through my work, I pose questions, raise awareness, and sound the alarm.

 

Very Fine People on Both Sides” - for Barlaam of Antioch references the events of August 11, 2017, where a group of white supremacists carrying tiki torches marched through Charlottesville, Virginia, resulting in three deaths. In responding the events, Trump remarked, “You also had some very fine people of both sides.” St. Barlaam was an early 4th century martyr, persecuted for his Christian faith. He was scourged, racked, and tortured for days. After each inhumane trial, he was asked to renounce his Christian faith. He resisted. Part of his torture included holding his hand over burning coals. Barlaam endured the pain in perfect stillness and his hand never flinched. He resisted.

© 2021 by CRISTIN MILLETT.
 

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