Monday, October 04, 2010

Using Art to Change the World

Is there a more versatile method of communication than art?

Art can tell a story, retrieve a memory, provoke an argument, inspire a movement.

Art saves lives. Art can change the world.

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My dear friend and conception artist/sculptor Ilene Berman likes to say, "If art doesn't change the world, what's the point?" Indeed. Her project, NODhouse, is calling attention to inequities in art allocation resources in an area that is deemed "undesirable." Ilene's art will change this part of the world.

Dare to Touch the Face of God
is another of those projects. It's my most ambitious project and, frankly, I need your help.

DTFG (it's too long to spell it out all the time!) is my response to the vitriol, hatred and fear mongering that seems to ramp up everyday because it's easy to victimize and demonize people we don't know or understand.

For a thousand years in Europe, if something went wrong, you could be sure it was the Jews' fault, or the Gypsy's. We know how that ended.

Today, it's the Muslim's fault. Yes. It's the same song. It's the same root cause. It's the same fear.

It has to stop.

But it's not just Islam that is feared and misunderstood. We don't really talk about religion. It's not polite. We don't know much about other people's faiths. We don't understand. Our prejudices are under the table.

Polygamists are creepy pedophiles. Catholics want a lot children and do whatever they're told by the Pope. Buddhists are godless. Pagans eat babies. Jews are rich and controlling. Amish are backward but quaint. Atheists are communists.

Muslims are terrorists.

Don't tell me you haven't heard this. I know you have. And worse. And we can reject every one of them... and still be afraid. Why? Because it's not the stereotypes that do the most harm. It's our inability to think of members of different religions as people. And then to respond to them that way.

Dare to Touch the Face of God
is a project to put a human face on faith. The series is intended to capture to breadth of religious understanding among people, and to further the definition of God. My goal is to put a human face on faith traditions or practices we might not understand or know about. Put a person -- famous or not -- with a practice or an idea. My subjects will be people who are willing to work with me to communicate their faith through a photograph.

Simple. Human. Delicate. True.

The project has been accepted as a Kickstarter project. Kickstarer helps innovative art projects secure funding from ordinary people who want to support the arts.

That's where you come in. Your support of this project is essential to it's success. Thank you!

Have an idea for a subject? I'm looking for your input on that too. Send me a private message or use the comment section to start a conversation. A separate website, DareToTouchTheFaceOfGod.com will be live by Oct 6.

1 comment:

Dianne Poinski said...

Thank you for creating this project. This is important work and I congratulate you on your willingness to express ideas of faith and beauty in a world filled with fear and intolerance. Keep us posted!