Ambera Wellman | Cloud # 32 | Oil on Wood | 16" x 12" | 2010
Traber Team, 1930, Ernst Ludwig KirchnerSize: 80x90 cm
Medium: oil on canvas
THE WEEKLY PIC: I find it very hard to wrap my mind around how hard it must once have been to be gay. I was frankly choked-up at the recent press preview for the installation called the Oscar Wilde Temple, by the longstanding art duo McDermott & McGough, as one speaker after another recalled a moment when such an installation could not even have existed. Peter McGough and David McDermott have transformed a crummy basement room at the Methodist Church of the Village in New York into a lovely facsimile of a Victorian chapel – if such a chapel had ever been dedicated to Saint Oscar of Wilde. That Irish holy man one-upped Paddy himself: Instead of chasing mere snakes out of his homeland, Wilde went up against the much tougher demon of homophobia, and won. Ireland was the first country where gay marriage was instituted by popular vote.
Even in liberal, secular New York, as recently as a decade or two ago, it would have been inconceivable to mount a statue of Wilde in front of a stained-glass image of Jesus, as McDermott & McGough have done in their installation. But if Jesus was any kind of sage at all, he’d have been happy to have the company of that particular sinner. (Photo Elisabeth Bernstein, © McDermott & McGough)
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