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Date(s) - May 12, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


At 7pm on Saturday, May 12th, we will be hosting the opening of Lamentation for the Forsaken, a new media installation at Christ Church Cranbrook that juxtaposes Christ’s suffering and journey to the cross with the anguish and plight of refugees fleeing the Syrian Civil War. We welcome artist, Michael Takeo Magruder, who will provide an introduction the artwork, Dr. Rouzana Hares who will speak about her experience as a refugee as well as Detroit-based artist Natasha T. Miller who will offer a meditation on grieving.

The artwork is composed of two distinct visual elements. The first is a photographic negative of the Shroud of Turin that has been aesthetically transformed with the names and details of individuals who have died in the conflict. The second is an underlying video stream created from sets of curated news media photographs that portray the lives and hardships of the Syrian people. The combination of these two layers generates an endlessly shifting digital tapestry that oscillates between the iconic image of Christ and the tragic stories of those affected by the war.

Dr. Aaron Rosen provides a beautiful description of the project:

As he took his last breath, Jesus cried out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Resurrection must have felt far away in this moment, and later for the paltry few who remained to tend to his corpse. In this work, Takeo offers a lamentation not only for the forsaken Christ, but others who have felt his acute pain of abandonment. In particular, Takeo evokes the memory of Syrians who have passed away in the present conflict, weaving their names and images into a contemporary Shroud of Turin. The Shroud, of course, is itself an image – an ‘icon’ in Pope Francis’ words – better known by its photographic negative than its actual fabric. Takeo’s digital re-presentation participates in and perpetuates this history of reproduction. But the real miracle isn’t the Shroud itself, it’s our capacity to look into the eyes of the forsaken – and see our Saviour.