Zachęta National Gallery of Visit

Students from grades 11 and 12 attended a group visit (organised by LAP) to the exhibition 'In God We Trust' at Zachęta National Gallery of Art. The exhibition featured a wide range of works created from artists who hail from very different religious backgrounds.

Students from grades 11 and 12 attended a group visit (organised by LAP) to the exhibition 'In God We Trust' at Zachęta National Gallery of Art. The exhibition featured  a wide range of works created from artists who hail from very different religious backgrounds. The primary question revolved around the United States as a religiously diverse country with a composition that on the surface appears to celebrate this difference yet on closer inspection reveals a number of serious fracture lines when set within the context of socio-political and militaristic action. The controversial motto used as the title of the exhibition, one that has often been questioned by different political and religious groups, may be interpreted in the context of today’s religious complexity as suggesting that America is no longer “one nation under [one] god”.


  A number of key works offered very strong comments on military interventions overseas through reinterpreting staples culled from art history, for example, Michaelangelo's Pieta was reimagined as the horrors of war wherein a uniformed soldier cradles his dying comrade. This under the US motto of 'In God We Trust' used to justify questionable actions. Other work investigated the transformation of Christian worship into spectacular multimedia events with the foundation of 'super churches', and where the pastor enjoys the status of a rock star. A very understated sculptural work depicted a typical headdress worn by female members of a cult. But in place of soft linen the inside contained thousands of pins, a representation of subjection the women are forced to accept. Photographs of church signs brought some light hearted humour when it became obvious that the intended message had fallen foul of Somme grave grammatical errors. More aesthetic and spiritual experiences were to be found in the meditative videos of Bill Viola in which he considered the act of transformation.