NEW YORK CITY, New York–Works of art of a Biblical nature not meant to mock the faithful are a rare site in the modern art world. But thanks to the power of Hollywood to direct the culture any place it feels the dollar may go, director Darren Aronofsky has launched an art exhibition titled Fountains of the Deep: Visions of Noah and the Flood.
The exhibition is in conjunction with the director’s Biblical epic Noah starring Russell Crowe, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Connelly.
In Fountains of the Deep’s opening statement, Aronofsky writes that individual analysis is the point of the show, since “the Noah story belongs to all of us–every religion, every culture, every citizen of planet Earth.
“The show is purely about Noah,” his statement continues. “It’s been a relevant story throughout history; that’s what makes it myth. I wanted the artists to take the original Biblical text and interpret it for themselves.”
The show features never-before-seen works by more than 50 contemporary artists as well as comic book and street artists on view in SoHo.The artists’ works are tasteful, thoughtful and brilliant with only a few taking a more sarcastic or secular tone towards the subject matter.
Most contemporary artists today are not inclined to engage topics of religious faith unless they’re using urine and elephant dung in their work. You need look no further than Lady Gaga using vomit artist” Millie Brown to puke on her during a performance at SXSW to see that the culture is broken.
Lady Gaga said, “I support Millie and what she does. ARTPOP, my new album, is about bringing art and music together.” No truer words have been spoken about the current state of American culture.
What’s important about this exhibition commissioned by Aronofsky is the ability of the “culture brokers” in Hollywood to tell artist what to do when they deem it to be important, even if it goes against what they may or may not believe in.
If it takes the business of Hollywood to move the culture into a dialogue of faith, based on their interruptions of that faith, through film and fine arts to heal a lost and broken culture then so be it.
Radio talk show host Glenn Beck has said he hopes the film is a “massive failure.” That’s not how you get the medicine to the disease.
What’s dangerous is not engaging Hollywood and the arts when it comes to faith. If the opportunity to engage individuals in an analysis of their culture is the point, then the foundation of the story is greater than some of the silly liberal messages Hollywood inserts into it.
And that Aronofsky’s exploration of Biblical text is motivated by 30 pieces of silver should come as no surprise, it’s the only way Hollywood gets near the cross.