Pool Y Marianela: Kidstianism
Exhibition: February 2-25
Reception: Fri. Feb. 2, 8-11 PM
Pool y Marianela
RELIGION FROM THE EYES OF THE MILLENNIALS CHILDREN
How do children interpret the Christian Religion? How do they represent, in their own imaginations, that system of narratives, symbols, practices, cosmo-visions, and sacred histories, created from the figure of Jesus of Nazareth: The Son of God, the Messiah, the miraculous, the one who died on the cross and resuscitated?
Children seem to rebel against the strict interpretations of adults. They make and build alternative imaginary, establishing their own, new ways of being, almost like a different process of development. It’s this observation that the artists choose as a springboard for their challenge:
How would the Christian Religion be through to the fantastic figuration that children do?
What would happen if the iconographic representations were created by them?
How would the world be conceived if the pontiffs, artists, patron and parishioners were not overcoming 11 years of age?
WELCOME TO KIDSTIANISM!
Pool&Marianela realize an extensive and disruptive work based on sacred art, embodying in the children–who were, in their religious education and in the imaginary of the creed that they built since their childhood, inside a certain temporary context. They’re part of the demographic that was born in the decade of 1980 that reaches to 2000. These are the “millennials”: those who lived through the summum (and the end of the analogue generation) and those who saw the arrival of the digital era.
Unlike Fanart, KIDSTIANISM is a work based on the Christian Religion. It presents unique and unrepeatable pieces of art, which have representations of byzantine art, lowbrow art and pop art. It also provides the sensorial shock that the children experience, generated by the popular culture and the multiplicity of emotions derived from the audiovisual and narrative world, detonated for color TV, cartoons, toys and merchandising of the 80s & 90s. But, especially, it focuses on interpretation of the religious cult from kids: to imagine the hero and the relationships that happens in infancy with sacred objects. In this work, the power to build belongs to children, who desacralized the religious icons and start playing with them. Because, in their world, the magic history emerges and becomes credible. Because they play with Jesus. Because they don’t understand metaphors and naturalize the religious figures as part of their game. The children don’t conceive the martyrization of Jesus. They want to play with him. They represent the Christ ’s body and blood in their own way: eating a cake and drinking hot chocolate. This is their mass and their sacrament. They invite you to have fun, to feel joyfully, to think in colors, to create other rites.
THIS IS THE RELIGION OF THE MILLENNIALS. THIS IS KIDSTIANISM.
THE EXHIBITION HAS SIX PARTS
1. THE CANNON & IMAGERY OF THE MESSIAH
Children find the savior in the world around them. The working environment of children is frequently a toybox. The children experiment with different depictions of the Hero via their own joyful cannon: the toys.
2. INTERPRETATIONS OF THE BYZANTINE CRUCIFIXION
Children lack full comprehension of the matryrdom of Christ. It is an adult concept, but children are great mimics. They seek to understand by creating their own symbols, based on the symbols of their parents. From icons of life to symbols of death and resurrection, the children use the toys to better understand the sacrifice of the messiah.
3. THE SACRED HEART OF SOUTH AMERICAN BOOTLEGS
The children of the third world had little or no access to the materials of the well-to-do. Much of their playtime was spent with the simple reward of a bootleg toy. The purity and innocence of these unlicensed figures brought as much joy as the real thing. These are sacred figures to the penitent child. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the sacrifice of a beloved bootleg is the ultimate tribute. These are the toys of the working class.
4. THE MERCHANDIZING OF KIDSTIANISM
i. Judas the Black Sheep & Jesus the Lamb of God
Children have a schizophrenic sense of play. Sometimes this manifests quite literally. If you tell a child that Jesus is the Lamb of God, they may picture a Jesus-headed lamb. The scripture is rich with metaphor, but children substitute metaphor with imagination.
ii. Baphomets: The Other Side of Kidstianism
All sense of play revolves around a hero, and all heroes have an adversary. The rich fantasy life of children is frequently informed by cartoons. So, after school television programming seeps into their religious education, and the concept of G vs. E is represented by the conflicts of their favorite shows. These Baphomet are the counterpoint to their heroic placebos. These are not just villains, they are Antichrists.
iii. Santería: The Worship of Saints
This is a real-world aspect of Kidstianism. Just as life imitates art, the artists have found and recreated a central concept to South American prayer.
5. LET THE KIDS PLAY IN PEACE
The philosophy of Kidstianism is manifest in integrating religion into everyday play. Milagros can power videogames. Novenas are trading cards. Crucifixes and holy statues are action figures. Nothing is taboo. Everything is a celebration.
The eucharist is believed to be the body of Christ. The tradition within the Catholic mass of receiving Holy Communion can be a very scary concept to a literal-minded child. Here the host and wine have been replaced with cake and chocolate milk.
About the artists:
Argentine artists, Marianela Perelli and Pool Paolini, turned 33 models of Barbie and Ken into religious icons for an exhibition called “Barbie, the Plastic Religion“. The show featured Barbie as the Virgin Mary and Ken as Jesus Christ, and included religious figures from Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism with versions of Barbie as Joan of Arc, Mary Magdalene and the Virgin of Lourdes. The show provoked widespread controversy in several languages from Argentina to France. As a result, the artists were invited by Mattel and Les Art Decoratifs to display four of their pieces in the museum of decorative arts in the Palais du Louvre, Paris, and were also received in the Vatican by Pope Francis who accepted a gift of their Barbie, “Our Lady of Lujan“.
How many living artists are in the personal collection of The Pope?
Contact gallery director Matt Kennedy for purchase info: