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4 Bumps

I like wine, but I'm not sure I'd want it this way.

I like the message, but I think it would be lost on most people.  It's too much work to connect all of the dots.  Maybe, though, if I had enough of the pops, I'd get it. . .

Artist wants Jesus Popsicles to stand as statement on fanaticism, violence

Artist Sebastian Errazuriz says he wants "Christian Popsicles" to spark dialogue about fanaticism and violence.

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN

(CNN)-Sebastian Errazuriz has used art to take on an array of issues: New York's death rate, the Occupy movement, military suicide, children with disabilities, the brutal reign of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Now, the Brooklyn-based artist is taking aim at what he sees as religious extremism.

At a party this weekend celebrating New York Design Week, which begins today, the Chilean-born artist plans to hand out 100 "Christian Popsicles" made of "frozen holy wine transformed into the blood of Christ" and featuring a crucifix instead the tongue depressor that typically hosts the frozen treats, he said.

An image of Jesus Christ positioned traditionally on the cross is visible once the ice pop is consumed. As for the frozen wine, Errazuriz said, he concealed it in a cooler and took it into a church, where it was "inadvertently blessed by the priest while turning wine into the blood of Christ during the Eucharist."

Errazuriz will hand out the wine creations on Saturday at Gallery R'Pure in Manhattan's Flatiron District before the "Love It or Leave it" exhibit.

 According to Gallery R'Pure, 10 artists are taking part in the exhibit, which asks attendees "to revisit the objects and symbols that have forged the American landscape through the eyes of their creators."

"Each piece is a personal interpretation of some aspect of American life, be it celebratory, critical or simply observational. The exhibition intends to question what the American life is, whether real or perceived," according to a news release from the gallery.

Other installments include a briefcase used to address obesity in America, a white picket fence intended as a statement on the American Dream and a "MTA chair" representing the loss of New York's old wooden subway benches.

While many of the pieces are provocative, none is quite so controversial as Jesus on a Popsicle stick. No stranger to controversy, Errazuriz said his intention isn't to upset people.

"It's not that I purposely want to get in trouble. I just believe if you are not doing work that can make people stop, think and discuss, then it's better not to make any work at all," he said.

Once consumed, the Popsicle features Jesus positioned traditionally on the cross.

Raised in a Catholic household, Errazuriz is now a "practicing atheist," but he has many friends and family members who are religious, and he respects their beliefs. He has always been vexed by religion, however, particularly the practitioners who wish to force their beliefs on others.

"(I'm) more than happy to recommend that thinking for ourselves and questioning the realities we received from previous generations can be incredibly liberating," he said.

Today, he feels that America is growing more extreme in its dogma, which is "holding a growing influence over American politics." He is especially unnerved by demands that U.S. leaders "publicly profess their faith in their god and enforce laws that defend the ideology of the Bible over individual liberties," he said.

His frozen cocktails stand as a symbol, he said, an invitation to "drink the Kool-Aid" that he feels so many religious zealots are stirring up. He hopes the Popsicles will remind the gallery's visitors to take their religions - whatever they may be - a little less seriously.

The United States is "rightly worried" about the threat of Islamic fanaticism, but Errazuriz wants to remind people that extremism is never acceptable, regardless of religion.

"In the land of the free, it's everyone's responsibility to make sure no one will ever force their beliefs on to others," Errazuriz said.

He pointed to the Ku Klux Klan, which decades ago was "a functioning, dominant political force in American society which identified (itself) as a Christian organization, carrying out ‘God's work,' branding the flaming cross as (its) symbol," he said.

Errazuriz wants his "Christian Popsicles," which will be stained red by the wine after their consumption, to signify the relationship between fanaticism and historic religious violence.

He also has hopes that the sticks "will prove Christians can take a little humor and irony - always a healthy indicator that might be harder to find amongst religious fanatics of other religions."

    - Writer-producer

Answer Question

Asked by jsbenkert at 7:38 PM on May. 18, 2012 in Religious Debate

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (25)
  • The Lord rebuke it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:27 AM on May. 26, 2012

  • Don't feel like reading all that, so I'll just say...what he sees as "fanaticism and violence" I see as pure, unadulterated love that our finite minds can't even fathom.

    Answer by popzaroo at 10:06 PM on May. 21, 2012

  • "he concealed it in a cooler and took it into a church, where it was "inadvertently blessed by the priest while turning wine into the blood of Christ during the Eucharist."

    Whatever- any message he was trying to convey is lost in his own lies and deceit- pot meet kettle-


    Answer by soyousay at 4:02 PM on May. 21, 2012

  • I personally find it a bit disturbing.

    Answer by onelove1982 at 11:22 PM on May. 19, 2012

  • It must not be very good wine if you can freeze it, y'know. I'm just saying...

    Answer by MamaK88 at 11:21 PM on May. 19, 2012

  • Meanwhile, back at the ranch. . . He also has hopes that the sticks "will prove Christians can take a little humor and irony - always a healthy indicator that might be harder to find amongst religious fanatics of other religions."

    Clearly, not everyone shares the artist's sense of humor and irony.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 9:28 PM on May. 19, 2012

  • Okay.  I'm sure the priest felt extremely disrespected, and no doubt is highly offended, as probably are the parishioners of that church.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 9:21 PM on May. 19, 2012

  • OP, disrespect doesn't mean harm. It means a lack of courtesy.

    Answer by Mom2Just1Kiddo at 9:02 PM on May. 19, 2012

  • So you think the priest was harmed by this man thinking that the wine was blessed without the priest's knowledge? To me, it seems like a poor case of snake-oil salesmanship, all for the intent of sharing a message that would probably have been lost on most people.

    What makes me laugh more than anything is that the artist calls himself  "practicing atheist". Some friends of mine and I were wondering what he's practicing.  Either you are an atheist, meaning that you don't believe that any gods exist, or you aren't.  There's nothing to practice.  The whole thing is bizarre to me - a lot of effort to go into a piece of edible (drinkable?) art with a profound message that few people will recognize.  It almost makes me sorry for the man.  Maybe he meant he's a practicing artist, rather than atheist.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 7:37 PM on May. 19, 2012

  • Lying and deceit are not 'good' things; they aren't 'moral' things ~ regardless of what a person bows down to (even if it is themselves).

    Just because something is labeled 'art' doesn't make something 'ok' to everyone, because people who are NOT artists are fully aware of the fact that artists can be assholes just like normal people. They aren't special enough to deserve a free pass to be that way and/or escape being criticized accordingly.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 4:50 PM on May. 19, 2012

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