cheo gonzalez

CATHEDRAL

The goal of “Cathedral” is to desacralize religious images, humanizing a tradition that insists on being unquestionable due to its divine origin.

Gay Porn as Christian Propaganda

“Cathedral” is a collection of six visual projects: Passions, Martyrdom, Confessionals, Religious Ecstasy, The Body of Christ and Bible, that examine the age-old relationship between eroticism and religious propaganda by comparing traditional Christian art with contemporary images. Like in a cathedral, these elements will be displayed together with the idea of enhancing their impact.

The four most significant moments (theologically speaking) in the life of Jesus – birth, passion, death, and resurrection – are by far the most represented in Christian art. These images are so common today that even children are not surprised by scenes of blood, torture, sadism, and death. This trivialization of pain is usually justified by the need to understand the stories, ideals, and the eternal and unchanging truth of sacred texts. But what if we confront these arguments with the fact that Jesus was (according to scripture and common sense) naked in these four moments, and not coincidentally naked, but as an important symbolic demonstration of purity in birth, humiliation in passion, humanity in death, and reunion with purity in resurrection? Should we start representing Jesus naked in accordance with the sacred scriptures? Should the nudity of the purest being be a source of shame? Is divine creation something that should be hidden?

It is at this point, when our sacred arguments justify exposing children to scenes of sadism and torture but not to a naked body, that we sense something not entirely spoken, something secret within us. Perhaps because we do not want to admit it, or perhaps because it is something we do not even understand ourselves: a feeling of impurity that comes from those tortured bodies, but deep in the subconscious, we like it. We like it so much that we fill temples with these images, we like it so much that we reproduce these images to exhaustion, we like it so much that we hang these images around our necks. But always with clothes on. Because worshiping these images of torture on a naked body could unleash something from the subconscious that we prefer to keep deep, dark, quiet, and holy.