June 3-9 - "Continue Ye in My Love"
L (American, born 1984)
SPECIAL MEAL: Adanandus Dwight - Cheeseburger, french fries, iced tea, 2013
16 x 24 inches
Digital pigment print (documentation of relational work)
Edition of three
Collection of the artist
Used with permission of the artist
A photograph of a cheeseburger and fries paired with a discussion of the Last Supper? Why?
In the summer of 2013, the artist L—whose work is also in the permanent collection of the Church History Museum—exhibited work in Los Angeles based on the last meals of death row prisoners. A “special meal” request is their last supper before execution. For the exhibition, visitors selected from a menu of actual prisoners’ last meals, which the artist prepared and served to gallery attendees. The photograph above is the documentation of one of the meals. It was also the selection in 1997 of Dwight Dwayne Adanandus, convicted of bank robbery and murder. Before his execution, Adanandus wrote an apology to the family of his victim that ended with these sentences, “Please accept my apology. I love you all. I am finished.”
The art work is provocative as social commentary but richly resonant historically and theologically, as well. The Savior’s Last Supper was a Passover Seder, itself a memorial of Moses’ exodus of the Children of Israel from brutal captivity and an allusion to ritual daubing of blood of a slaughtered lamb around the door for protection. The Last Supper both foreshadowed the sacrifice to come and closed a prophetic loop—”He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).
In his exhibition, the artist asked the viewer/diner to process complex issues: to evoke responses regarding justice and mercy, and to imagine what their own special meal would be, among other profound questions.
In the Last Supper, Jesus used the Passover foods of unleavened bread and wine to symbolically teach his disciples about His impending sacrifice. How does this symbolism help you to understand the impact of His atoning sacrifice specifically for you?
These emblems of His sacrifice—of repentance and forgiveness—are passed each Sunday through the ordinance of the sacrament from saint to saint, reverently down the pew. How does this sharing and serving through the passing of these sacramental emblems impact your perspective of others with whom you worship?
What comparisons do you see between the photograph above and the Last Supper? How are they alike and how do they differ?