Project Proposal 2014-002 "Son of Man, Son of God"
rating: +13+x

Title: Son of Man, Son of God by Judas Marbury

Material Requirements:

  • A fully grown christ plant shrub.
  • A finished basement, layered with sheetrock or other soundproofing material.

No further materials were permitted by the artist for the creation of this piece.

Abstract: The performance shall focus on an exhibit containing one replica of The Crown of Thorns, indistinguishable from depictions of the original. One person randomly selected from the audience will be allowed to approach the exhibit and encouraged to place the crown on my head. If they refuse, another audience member will be chosen until one eventually accepts.

Following this, the audience member's spine will begin to extend both up and down the body, tearing out from both sides and sticking into the ground. The audience member will continue to live even as the joints within their arm straighten, calcify, and extend to tear out of their hands. Once their bones are suitably elongated, it will take three hours for them to die. The body will be set aside but still left in the audience's view, the crown removed and placed back onto its pedestal.

If no further members of the audience wish to partake in the presentation, I shall place the crown on myself. After I have expired, the exhibit will be closed. The bodies will be respectfully buried in private. All audience members (and myself) who wore the crown in the presentation will then return to life within three days. Resurrection takes place within the site of the exhibit (approximately where their death had occurred).

Intent: I would like to dedicate this piece that I present to you today to my recently late boy. Charlie, you know the little guy, an eight-year-old that had the world on his shoulders and could take the world if he wanted to. My family has always been regarded as devoted Catholics, always going to church and taking part in all the little events. Charlie loved it all, had a connection with the other kids, you know how the goober was. He was the rock of my life, and I know that all my previous pieces wouldn't have been done without him. I suppose he is the catalyst for this piece too. You remember it well, don't you Tom? Nice barbecue, all the church folk coming over and hanging out, some of the friends from old times there. I was flipping patties on the grill, talking to you about…what was it? Football? It didn't matter. What mattered was that the wife was yelling about something. You know certain yelling from Abigail when you hear it, she has certain tones that you recognize. This was not one of those. You look to her and see the horrified look as she runs toward the road…and you hear that screech. That deafening screech of wheels skidding against the road.

My boy got run over by a truck. Charlie, my youngest, wishing to be a firefighter or astronaut, whatever goofy occupation the goober wanted to be. All gone. I hardly heard it until it was too late. Do you know what it looks like to see an eight-year-old smeared a couple of dozen feet across blacktop? Sliding against pavement so damn hard that the bones become exposed, not like they needed help, enough of them were stretched and torn out of sockets anyhow. Who am I kidding? You were there. You saw it, you tried to comfort me, but you can't comfort that. Can't comfort a dad whose holding the hunk of a body that used to be his son. One second he was imagining himself as an astronaut bouncing on the moon, then BAM!

I prayed that day, hoping God had some sort of plan, that my kid would come to the front door in a full-body cast and that goofy grin on his face. Never happened. I prayed to God, held Abigail tight as she cried against my chest. Found it was a drunk driver later, and the bastard had been going fifty down a twenty-five. I asked God why did sin have to be in the world? Why did sin have to take my boy? Every god damn night I prayed, sitting within that dingy old basement and looking at the cross, hoping for some semblance of an answer. Abigail said we needed to see a therapist about this, but would a therapist understand seeing your kid's body a mangled damn mess!? The same day as that suggestion was the day it happened, I was praying downstairs and had my eyes closed tight with teeth-gritting. I asked God for the hundredth time for answers, and you know what? He answered Tom. He actually answered.

I can hardly recall it now, but God said that sin was overflowing, that Jesus's sacrifices weren't enough to dam the tide that was humanity's sin. Such sins lead to horrible things like a…a drunk driver killing an eight-year-old boy. He said that the few have to repent for humanity, that for humanity to be free of sin, a burden has to be taken. He assigned it my sole right to see that through, and damn well I did. I looked at Abigail and I said to her, "honey? I think I'm feeling better now," and you know what? I was. For the first time since my boy died, I actually felt something, like I had a damn purpose. Like I could make Charlie proud.

Getting christ shrub was easy when you know the right guy and can pull some heartstrings, everything else came easy enough. Strong, thorny stuff, normally not anything you would wanna work with save for a couple of select things. Like making a crown. I told myself that tools wouldn't be used, that my fingers needed to experience it all. Thorns sliced into my fingers, sometimes going deep enough to the muscle. You ever felt cuts deep into your muscle Tom? It distracts you. Distracts you from the stress, the anger, your damn kid dying. As I destroyed my fingers, I screamed up to God again. Why doesn't he answer anymore?! Does he even care?! The pain wasn't enough. Ever slam torn muscles against cinderblocks, Tom? Adrenalizing.

The pain felt good Tom because I knew it was for a good cause. When's the last time you worked for a good cause? Sitting up there with your damn kids. You were there Tom, but you didn't bother to follow up. No, "Are you alright Judas? I know your kid just had an unfortunate death," but fuck if you cared. But I cared Tom, that's why I was the first damn person on that cross. That boney cross as I felt my spinal column rip out of fleshy confines, just so I could feel the suffering that would free everyone. You ever feel that pain Tom? You see things, as your screaming bloody murder, you see God and you see…you see your kid standing there with that goofy grin. You ever see that Tom? Your kid tries to grin with a jaw split down the middle, head crushed open like a rotten watermelon? Exhilarating.

People need to repent for humanity Tom. People need to see the emotion and pure will that comes of those that stand for the many. But I want this piece dedicated to my boy. Tom, if you didn't listen to anything, at least let me dedicate this to him. If you learned nothing from this, if you can't let me be a holy man first, at least let me be a father second.

To: ten.ycwa|citirceht#ten.ycwa|citirceht
From: ten.ycwa|reweivereht#ten.ycwa|reweivereht
Subject: Long Lost Suffering
Date: 2021/25/4

Hey Critic, look at this. All the big shots got linked to this, and you probably did too. Actually, it specifically talks about you; what the hell is this guy's deal? I understand the guy's pain but he is just using art to portray some stupid attempt at furthering his own religious fervor. I mean, the guy is an absolute quack!

I look at this and can't imagine it as anything more than some nut job wanting brownie points with his fucking church or whatever. Turns people into a cross? Pretty direct don't you think? We're artists and this guy is putting up as much subtle tone as a frying pan to the face; honestly, reading it was difficult. Look, between you and me, don't give this guy any wiggle room. You accept this guy, your gonna have every wacko from you know where claiming they have finesse in the arts. We're artists man, we don't need any God to keep us down. We are the Gods.

Do us all a favor and put this guy down quickly.

Response: Son of Man, Son of God

In all my years as this organization's "leader", I have never seen anything quite like this. I have never seen an art piece give so much emotion, so much struggle, and so much pain into one piece before. I learned long ago from an old friend that the best art comes from emotion, those welling feelings deep inside that you just wish to let out.

I know how it feels to be in your position, hell, at one point I was there. I will allow this art piece to be placed in my next exhibition on one condition: you have one more barbecue, I bring the kids over, and we can crack open a beer and talk about old times. I miss my friend.

Come back to us pal.

- The Critic

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