In fact, studying art, I have found that most ideological work dealing with religious and political spheres often times tries too hard to affirm their position rather than explore, to proselytize rather than communicate. This can be seen through early uses of art in the church, which was typically used in a manner similar to propaganda rather than a platform from which to start a discussion. There is too much of an authoritarian element to that type of work, leaving the viewer with the possibility of a simple acceptance/denial response; you either believe it, or you don’t. The end.
I’ve never been interested in this sort of “dialogue” (I’m hesitant to even call it that, to be honest), since this is hardly the type of reaction that leads to long-term engagement with a wide demographically diverse audience.
However, through working in an atmosphere like Trinity alongside of committed artists and Christians, as well as studying work that would not be traditionally defined as religious only to find underlying tones of belief and faith, I have come to the realization that perhaps by participating in that discourse, a bit of it can be reclaimed.
So what does a stack of papers or cut out letters have to do with faith? For me, it’s all about recognizing who you are and who others are, and accepting it for what it is: we’re human. And because of this, we do have anxieties and fears; we are vulnerable and finite, just like the paper in the stacks. However, like that same paper, we can be restacked, rebuilt, and most importantly, resurrected.