Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Naked Pilgrim

BY GORDON STETTINIUS

By Gordon Stettinius
 
These images are from an ongoing series, Naked Pilgrim, that I have been working on over the past few years while traveling the blue highways of the United States. I am interested in both the sacred and profane, really, and how the more spiritual concepts get trapped and transformed by the mechanics of commerce and entertainment. It is this co-opting of popular entertainment that brings us Christian theme parks, private creationism museums, ultimate Christian wrestling, hell houses and church raves–and I am really just getting going. There is a lot out there to consider. And I am still looking for anyone who may be out there stripping for Jesus if you should happen to be able to help me out..

And here, perhaps, I should say that I am essentially an agnostic when it comes to religion. I am respectful of others’ beliefs but I do find it difficult, at times, to keep a straight face before some of the less dignified repentertainment. Still, when you are sandwiched between a white knuckled woman, her child straining on a leash, spilling his popcorn, and another young man who is reduced to tears by the obviously grand and musical persecution, it gets confusing. Jesus junk, witness wear, alterna-gospel…

In short, this is an ongoing tale of wandering and redemption in our increasingly evangelical homeland. And I am but another transcendental tourist, if you’ll let me get away with that one.

 

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Holy Land U.S.A., 2006

 

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He Is Risen, 2006

 

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Camel, Holyland Experience, 2006

 

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Crucifixion, Holyland Experience, 2006

 

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Santa Claus, Indiana, 2008

 

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Reindeer, Santa Land, 2004

 

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Jesus Is Lord, 2008

 

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America Return to Christ, 2008