October 13, 2014
the X station – jesus is stripped of his garmentssearching for caravaggio – 3rd entry
and carrie is stripped of her humanity
I’ve been watching “Homeland” and the new episodes present the main character as about her career, about her leadership, about her drive, about her ambition. Looking back at previous seasons it is now clear that the Brody character gave Carrie her compassion. But without Brody, Carrie is truly The Drone Queen – the title of the first episode of the new season. At one point she almost drowns her baby daughter, because she is a distraction, a pawn in the Queen’s way.
The connection between Showtime’s Carrie and Ferri’s paintings – Via Crucis – came from the idea of stripping away what prevent us from seeing. In “Homeland,” Carrie is stripped of her humanity and we see the robot; in Ferri’s Stations of the Cross, Christ is stripped of his divinity and we see the man.
I am very curious about Ferri’s commission for Via Crucis. When I saw the paintings in the cathedral in Noto, I couldn’t believe they were in a church. (The photograph on the left is of the 10th Station. Each painting is in a gold-leaf frame.) The images are raw, almost erotic and the Christ has a gym-rat body. Such an interpretation of the Way of the Cross would never be allowed in rabid, conservative America. (Ferri’s Caravaggesque style straddles conventions. But New-World Catholics don’t even know who Caravaggio is, let alone understand a modern artist who paints in the Baroque style.) Catholicism in the west is about violent opposition to abortion and gay-marriage; most American Catholics know little about empathy for the less fortunate or about their Church’s artistic patronage. But then, they too have been stripped of their legacy, their righteousness and what we see is their obsession to punish. Maybe, they would welcome Ferri’s paintings, after-all there’s a lot of S&M references in them.