Brazilian artist Jonathas De Andrade Looking for Jesus at Museo Marino Marini in Florence until June 26 2014

Brazilian artist Jonathas De Andrade‘s installation Procurando Jesus/Looking for Jesus, consisting of 20 photographs, wall paintings, 16 works in acrylic, hand written white charts, a tray with dates and an urn, opened yesterday in Florence at the Museo Marino Marini.

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The display is part of a major project called Late One Morning, investigating the possible ways of interpreting sculpture today, and is curated by Alberto Salvadori and Luigi Fassi.

The crypt of the museum hosts the project by Recife-based De Andrade, whose work was conceived during an artist residency at the Darat Al Funun Foundation in Amman, Jordan. The aim of the project is to develop a bottom-up research on the presumable features of Jesus Christ, as a reconsideration of his figure according to a non-westernised stereotype.

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The installations features 20 photographs of men from Amman as plausible contemporary faces for Jesus: these are the pictures of the people interviewed in the street by the artist in order to ask for their opinion on the matter of Jesus’ appearance today. The research brought about by De Andrade engendered a thought-provoking debate round the de-colonization of the traditional iconography canon, assuming Jesus Christ as a white, fair-haired, blue-eyed and western man. Also the issue raised by Jonathas De Andrade is a very controversial subject to Islamic faith, whose religious tradition condemns the iconographic representation of God and the prophets, as well as it touches on very delicate political and social disputes.

The result of the interviews are presented as key comments on the walls of the crypt, while an additional element of participation is offered through voting the chosen image by slipping the date stones into the urn after eating the fruit on display.

As Jonathas De Andrade told me at the launch “The beginning of the research aroused a number of challenges, as the interviewed people hesitated to tackle such a tricky issue, though after sometime my approach became more confident and I appreciated a growing engagement in the artistic process. The work became a participatory experience, while at the same time I developed my own personal search for meaning and value.”

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Jonathas De Andrade

Procurando Jesus/Looking for Jesus

May 30 – June 26 2014

Museo Mario Marini

Monday: 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

Wed – Sat: 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

Closed on Tuesday, Sunday and on public holidays