miracle 1996
76 x 40 x 17cm
This torso in bronze actually demonstrates the Christian narrative of Jesus Christ, who, according to the Bible, was nailed to a cross as a punishment amounting to death, a sentence administered for his deemed crime of treason. The sentence however was administered as a process, where Jesus Christ was first condemned, then made to carry the cross to which he would be nailed, up to the location of the act. Before he was mounted on the cross, he was further mocked and stripped of his clothing. As he was nailed to the cross, it was customary in the sentence to break the legs so the mountee was unable to lunge upward to ease suffering through gasping for breath. However, as the Biblical narrative goes, a Roman centurion reaches up to pierce the side of the body of Jesus Christ, whereupon water and blood pour from the wound. The narrative indicates that the centurion did thus instead of breaking the legs as it was assumed Jesus Christ was already dead; and the preventative measure against the possibility of survival by breaking legs was not required. The piercing by the spear was more to affirm death of the mountee. Miracle is exactly that: representing as the Biblical narrative shows, firstly that Jesus Christ was confirmed to be dead, before he was later resurrected; and that the blood and water symbolized two sacraments at the beginning and end of Christian life: water for baptism at birth and blood for exsanguination at death. While this work affirms a Christian narrative that might not be known to non-Christians, the formal rendering of the torso as a body that had been pierced, and perhaps remained still alive or had come back to life, invokes the concept of a miracle from faith and from belief. That we believe not with our flesh alone, but in our spirit too.