Jesus asked me, “Why?,” and I said, “I don’t know, homie”
Contradictions plague religious belief and religious practice. Some current versions of Christian belief is wrapped in practice of hateful othering, greed, and violence: white evangelical Christians claim superiority and practice exclusivity while opposing gun control, women’s rights, and self determination and agency over body and gender expression. These actions say, “I am the darkness in the world.” The core of Jesus’ teaching is love; he said, “I am the light of the world.” This piece, named “Jesus asked me, ‘Why?,’ and I said, ‘I don’t know, homie,’” is an expression of a conversation with Jesus and the contradictions in the name of religion. Rusty, discarded chicken wire and shiny, lovingly-twisted copper wire mimic the crown of thorns Jesus wore. A canvas (a cross purchased from a dollar store) is turned into a caricature crucifix. Jesus at the center asks, “Why?” as he cradles a man—Is the man dead? Has he been injured by his fellow man? Purple, the color attributed to Christ consciousness by New Age circles in commune with ascended masters such as Jesus, holds pieces of fake blood (peeled off liquor bottles). The Christian body of thought bleeds as the core belief of some branches practices the opposite of the namesake’s preaching. // If Jesus showed up and asked why some of his followers act the way they do, I would say I don’t know. What would Jesus do—WWJD? I can only imagine he would invoke empathy and compassion, but not before wondering what went wrong with the creation made in his name.
This piece appeared in the Occulted Religion group show; December 2018, La Matadora Gallery, Joshua Tree, California.
Artist: Anastasia Wasko
Materials: Cross (upcycled), resin, broken glass, copper-plated bibis, copper wire, glitter, eye shadow, pin (upcycled), chicken wire (picked in 29 Palms, California), plastic blood (picked off a liquor bottle I pulled from bar trash in 29 Palms, California), sand (gathered in 29 Palms, California), reiki energy (prana)