As an artist, I have the opportunity to labor to make a small part of the unseen visible. Mystery is a natural part of the artistic process. Geheimnis is a German word that, literally translated, means secret. A secret cannot be revealed except by the one who possesses it.
Martin Luther chose the world Geheimnis (or its derivatives) when translating words like mysterium (mystery) and mirabile (wonderful) from the Vulgate bible. One of the greatest mysteries I desire to contemplate is the fragile nature of human life, and one of the secrets that I wait to see revealed is that of my death. I cannot see it: it is Geheimnis. As a believer, I spend time regularly contemplating the fact that Adam was created to live but chose death, and Christ was created to die that we may have life. We are by birth inheritors and participants in Adam’s death, and believers are by second birth given the gift of eternal life, that we may live rightly in glory.
I will explore changing cultural worldviews on mortality and mystery through this body of work. Through research and the process of making this work, I will examine and contrast a utopian vision for life, which insulates itself from suffering and death, with biblical views of mystery and mortality. I am particularly interested in how Western radical individualism has shaped what we expect from our lives and how we experience suffering. I believe this also deeply shapes how we anticipate or avoid the idea of our bodily death.
This work is a traveling exhibit. It will debut at Sojourn Arts in Louisville, KY in March 2020, will have its second showing in Kansas City at Four Chapter Gallery in June 2020, and it will close at the Basilica of Mary in Minneapolis in August 2020.