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Why is Darth Vader in the 2020 Vatican’s Nativity scene?


little2add

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I always love Fr. Goring's down to earth choices of words to make his points. "dude, like, that's real weird" :lol4:

I am pretty generous and accepting of a lot of modern art. The style itself, for other context or subject matter, I think is fun and quirky. But the context and purpose here, as sacred art for the Vatican, misses the mark. 

Compare that to the sand sculpture that the Vatican revealed a couple of years ago, which was truly stunning and I think served the purpose of inspiring hearts and minds during Christmas.

nm-vatican-0812.jpg?itok=J6uhBJwn&timest

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The Vatican nativity scene this year certainly is strange and at first a challenge to my senses and conditioning, and that might be a good and positive experience if one is willing to detached from them for a bit.  I do think with the traditional type images of a nativity scene, I don't always stop and think.  The thing about the Vatican weird nativity artwork this year, is that it does provoke me to think and reflect on the images and to be open to others' opinions.   A bit of wander on the net has interesting reflections in both directions, positive and negative.  

What is the 2020 Vatican nativity scene saying to me?  I must admit that this year I have thought "The Vatican is going nuts and lost the plot!" initially anyway.

One thing that did occur as I contemplated the strange artwork, is that the Incarnation, the Birth of Jesus, His Life and His Death, walks with me and all into the mysterious and unknown future and that, in fact, He is the mysterious and unknown future.

 

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Went outside with a coffee, beautiful day here, reflecting more on the quite strange Vatican 2020 nativity scene. It has quite captured my imagination.

The Vatican 2020 nativity scene reminds me that Jesus is to me and to all, the past in His Incarnation, birth, life and death over some 2000 0dd years ago, opening Heaven to all for all time.  He is our present as we move from Advent preparations in to Christmas 2020.  He will be our future, our mysterious and unknown future whatever it might be.  He is our every NOW, our present moment always, and is all things to all men with the whole of creation without exception, forever until the end of time:  "Go and do likewise"

Christ-mas (mass from the Latin missio meaning dismissal, to send, mission)  HERE

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Pope snubs Vatican's sci-fi Nativity scene, directs visitors to others

https://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUKKBN28U0GS?fbclid=IwAR3twkZFLvDht7oW9TzywSPVMJEf-Iz7d7aMuv84CoP9L27BHb0UzpibN_o

Oh dear. I can't help it. I have such an artist's heart and can't help but feel a bit sad for the artists now at this point. I'm being too much of a softie, I know.

I am very confused as to who oversees and signs off on these things -- hopefully this won't happen again. Though I imagine it will.

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Pope Francis has his interpretation - i.e. consumerism.  I didn't think of it as that at all.  He has his interpretation and we all do.  To me. that is an important aspect of what artworks are about i.e. the interpretation of the viewer, or how an artwork is received.  There can be many interpretations both positive and negative and to my mind all are valid.  I do think that beauty or the lack of it really are in the eyes of the beholder.

Pope Francis is Bishop of Rome and if he wants traditional in Rome, then traditional it probably will be in the future. I would have no problem with that.  However that could really limit interpretations in the artwork of what the Incarnation and the nativity might mean.  On the other hand, traditional nativity scenes might speak with more clarity to piety and devotion to those who need it/want it.

Edited by BarbaraTherese
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"We keep beautiful things in there so that no matter how awful your life is, you can walk into St. Peter's and that's yours, that's part of who you are, and it reflects who you are and the glory of who you are," she said. "I don't understand why we'd turn our back on that. It seems to be part of this strange, modern loathing and rejection of our traditions."                                                                   ~ Elizabeth Lev 

Italian art historian Elizabeth Lev echoed these sentiments around the Vatican's 2020 nativity display, saying people look to Rome "for the tradition of beauty," and this is anything but.

My sentiments exactly , L2A

Edited by little2add
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11 hours ago, BarbaraTherese said:

Pope Francis has his interpretation - i.e. consumerism.  I didn't think of it as that at all.  He has his interpretation and we all do. 

Was he referring to the Nativity scene? I thought he was just addressing the problem of it during Christmas. 

Turns out my husband loves the astronaut :rotfl2: I'm not surprised at all. 

2 hours ago, little2add said:

"We keep beautiful things in there so that no matter how awful your life is, you can walk into St. Peter's and that's yours, that's part of who you are, and it reflects who you are and the glory of who you are," she said. "I don't understand why we'd turn our back on that. It seems to be part of this strange, modern loathing and rejection of our traditions."                                                                   ~ Elizabeth Lev 

Italian art historian Elizabeth Lev echoed these sentiments around the Vatican's 2020 nativity display, saying people look to Rome "for the tradition of beauty," and this is anything but.

My sentiments exactly , L2A

I'm inclined to agree. I place the objection more on whoever oversaw and signed off on it moreso than anyone else. I don't blame the artists, and apparently the pope doesn't even directly sign off on these things. The art director and the Vatican correspondent really did not consider the audience at all. At Thanksgiving, people are generally going to want turkey, not tofu. At Christmas, people take their kids to see a roly poly santa, not a skinny guy with a hipster beard and a red blazer. There are some settings where the traditional is just going to be better received. Honestly if they had this nativity scene at a hip little cafe or a modern art museum, visitors probably would love it. Put it at the Vatican and you have to deal with masses of amounts of people hating your art at best, and accusing you of blasphemy and moloch worship at worst.

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I liked the art itself (of 'Nativity scene' in Vatican now) - colours, texture etc. but only out of its purpose, of being a nativity scene. Likewise, the sand sculpture is impressive yet it reminds me of the art of the Third Reich and... of Blake both. 
There is something quite heavy and earthly in both, to my mind. They lack that vector of joy, of expansion visible on this work of Klee ('Night Feast') and also smallness; intimacy and  grandeur together. 

ddc51cae545dbc10a222ce3ec519087c.jpg

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