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.
Holy Land U.S.A., 2006
He Is Risen, 2006
Camel, Holyland Experience, 2006
Crucifixion, Holyland Experience, 2006
Santa Claus, Indiana, 2008
Reindeer, Santa Land, 2004
Jesus Is Lord, 2008
America Return to Christ, 2008