At Postmasters, Katarzyna Kozyra Catches Jesus on Video

THE DAILY PIC: The Polish artist looks for the messiah, and often finds him.


THE DAILY PIC: At Postmasters gallery in New York, the Polish artist Katarzyna Kozyra is presenting a video called Looking for Jesus, in which she goes to Israel and interviews any number of people who think they are some version or other of the Jewish messiah. (Click on my image to watch a clip.) She doesn’t come across as though she’s making fun of maniacs, or for that matter as though she’s got an open-armed approach that’s merely condescending. It’s clear both that she doesn’t buy their stories, but also that she’s  willing to listen seriously. But there’s one crucial moment that, for me, came to explain the entire piece: At a certain point, Kozyra tells one of her “messiahs” that it goes without saying that she’s “spiritual”, too, because she’s an artist. That made me realize that every artist, however hard-nosed, theorized and secular, suffers from the same “Jerusalem Syndrome” as Kozyra’s Jesus clones: One way or another, artists all imagine that they can somehow transform the world, just by waving their hands and making the strange noises, and objects, that we call “art”. And though I’m evangelical in my atheism, I’m willing to call myself their disciple. Hallelujah, I’ve been born again, and again – into the church of art.

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