Urinal Art & T-Shirt Preaching

Duchamp's FountainIf there’s any piece of art that typifies postmodernity and repeles modernists everywhere it must be Duchamp’s “Fountain”: a urinal. Not only disgusting, how does a mass-produced chunk of porcelain made for human waste ever qualify as art? Duchamp’s point was that everything is art.

We like things to fit neatly into their own little boxes; urinals are for men’s bathrooms, portraits are for art museums, t-shirts are for weekdays, suits are for the Bible. So when someone stands up to read the Bible, preach or play the piano in church, s/he had better be dressed for the occasion. My suggestion (in actual fact, my affirmation) is that this is the same as rejecting the Fountain and my point is that in your life, everything is Christian (not just on Sundays, while reading the Bible, or managing to wear a feigned smile).

Duchamp’s piece is crude but it’s crude to convey a truth: Art doesn’t fit into a box – it doesn’t fit into a box because someone made the box and so it too is someone’s art. Everything you see can be looked at and appreciated and so is, in that sense art.

tshirtThe point is that the Bible doesn’t belong in a box somewhere with suits and formality. Often we think it does, and so we demand that reader wear a tie. In actual fact the Bible should be the first thing we realise transcends every box – long before we realise anything about art.

So next time I preach during the traditional prayer book service in a t-shirt instead of the surplus or read the Bible wearing shorts and no tie, perhaps it will be to remind you that normal people are supposed to read the Bible as part of their day to day lives – not only ministers on Sunday.

James Cuénod
Student at Wheaton College
I love Jesus, preach his Gospel, disciple his children, study his word and I am incurably passionate about the glory of God.
Inching my way towards teaching pastors in South Africa. Student at Wheaton College. Excited by Hermeneutics, Old Testament and Biblical Theology.