Cardinal sin

Another report from Chris Ambidge, visiting family in England. This time it’s about a visit to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, where he came across Banksy‘s recent work “Cardinal Sin”:

Written up in many places; here’s the treatment in My Modern Metropolis:

“I’m never sure who deserves to be put on a pedestal or crushed under one.” – Banksy

Oh, the Catholic church won’t be happy about this. Banksy just unveiled a brand new sculpture called Cardinal Sin which is a 18-century stone bust of a priest with its face sawn off and replaced by blank “pixelated” bathroom tiles. It was created as a response to the child abuse scandal in the Catholic church and its subsequent cover-up.

Where this sculpture sits is almost as important as the piece itself. It was unveiled at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England, where it’s placed alongside 17th Century religious art which includes large church altarpieces and other religious sculptures.

Reyahn King, director of art galleries at National Museums Liverpool, said this about the piece:

“The sculpture very clearly contains a message. When you look at it and see the tiles that have been applied to the sawn-off face, you immediately get the impression of those pixelated images of suspected criminals you see on screen or in a newspaper photograph.”

As for Banksy? He remarked, “I guess you could call it a Christmas present. At this time of year it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christianity – the lies, the corruption, the abuse.”

Banksy is famously outspoken and provocative.

Then, the work’s title, which plays on the ambiguity of cardinal — as N (think of Cardinal Fang, in the Monty Python Spanish Inquisition skit) or Adj  ‘of the greatest importance’ (as in a cardinal virtue).

3 Responses to “Cardinal sin”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    Robert Coren on Google+:

    I assume the title also refers to the former Primate of the Philippines, a member of the College of Cardinals whose surname was, in fact, Sin.

    Ah, I’d forgotten that.

  2. Chris Ambidge Says:

    I think it’s pretty clear that Banksy is NOT referring to the Filipino Cardinal Sin (a real person, and who probably did not wear either costume or hair like the plaster bust). He’s commenting on the current situation in the RC church in general about the sexual scandals of the last few decades, rather than singling out one person half a world away.

  3. I am UndocuQueer! « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] around for quite a long time, creating art in the service of social activism. (Banksy — see here — is a well-known recent […]

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