Saturday, 22 March 2008

From Christmas to Easter with Adrian Frutiger

Adrian Frutiger is a Swiss typographer and artist. For Easter the Eglise Réformée de France has put this series of images called "From Christmas to Easter" on its webiste.
I really like the way the resurrection is echoed in the incarnation - and vice-versa; the way the theological idea of the work is developed like an alphabet but over 7 days (like creation perhaps?) rather than over 24 or 26 letters also interests me. I've become increasingly interested in the alphabet since starting calligraphy a decade ago - unfortunately I'm still a débutant.
Looking at Frutiger's images made me wonder about whether resurrection is a form of "ex-carnation" - or perhaps that's what ascension is.
The photos of the work are by my friend and ERF colleague Jérôme Cottin who was one of the founders of Protestantisme et Images, an association which tries to get art and images to be take more seriously within francophone Protestantism. These days he also lectures at the Roman Catholic university in Paris. Together with his wife Bettina who is also a minister and orginally from Berlin, they translated into French the letters between Bonhoeffer and his fiancée Maria von Wedemeyer.
Anyway, for some rather more erudite and thorough-going discussion than is available from my keyboard, and for review of the theology of resurrection (and much else besides) I really recommend Simon Barrow's recent postings on his Faith in Society blog. Always stimulating. Here are two tastes from his recent output which has been prolific both in quantity and quality:

"There is a terror to the Easter message, and it has nothing to do with resurrection as a 'get out clause'. We will come to that issue later. First, thanks to Rob Telford, I chanced upon Kim Fabricius's passionate Palm Sunday sermon, Lose Your Faith. There's a we bit of, um, overkill here, maybe (aagh... I can be very English), but the assault on sentimental religion and the recognition of Jesus' death as an assault on false gods, many of them perpetuated in his name, is sound. I have often described Christianity, rightly understood, as the most effective way of not believing the kind of nonsense perpetuated by so much religion, Christian religion included. But in the pity is also the possibility, the echo of a future not our own. That, rather than the consolation of magic, is where we en up later in the week." (You can read the whole post here)

This quote comes from a later post by Simon entitled Facing the crucified - and the crucifiers:
'In her excellent article Being on the side of the crucified, which will also appear in the Sewanee Theological Review, Savi Hensman raises questions highly appropriate to the narrative, message and calling of Good Friday. She asks:
"How highly do we prioritise the preservation of the current order and protection of existing patterns of wealth and privilege, which may benefit us individually and institutionally? In providing pastoral care to the privileged and powerful, are we able to remain detached from their outlook and encourage them to seek a higher good? Do we tend to adopt society’s values, dismissing as unimportant the hardship and injustice endured by the poor and marginalised, or are we bearers of good news even in bleak situations?"'