This photo was taken yesterday in Arles by my brother Richard who has been cycling from Montélimar to friends in Lunel Viel over the past few days.
The piece is a famous one by Argentine artist Leon Ferrari, whose work is being exhibited in a former Roman Catholic Church during the Arles cultural festival.
You can find out more about the exhibition here.
The presence of a Léon Ferrari retrospective in a church is a paradox verging on the miraculous: here we have a famous, ninety-year-old artist who has devoted a large part of his working life to studying and implacably criticising the Catholic Church from its origins up to the present day.
Ferrari’s œuvre foregrounds the contradictions of the human condition: the abuses of power and the intolerance, sexual repression, racism, violence and authoritarianism that characterise different kinds of organisations in contemporary society. Mixing humour and sarcasm in ongoing reinterpretations of history, Ferrari confronts us with all the ambiguity, cruelty and stupidity human beings are capable of, citing as examples the horrors of the Inquisition, the Nazi concentration camps, America’s impositions of military hegemony, the dictatorship in Argentina, and the multiple forms in which such abominations can resurface ...
His mythic piece La Civilización Occidental y Cristiana (Western Christian Civilisation)—an assemblage of an American war plane and a crucified Christ, censored in the Argentina of the 1960s—will be shown in the very special setting of the Chapelle Sainte-Anne. Never in its entire history has this remarkable work been exhibited in such a significantly relevant venue.