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Arts & Culture

Chris Sauter Ends Artistic Pilgrimage with Bold Conclusion

Photo: Bryan Rindfuss, License: N/A

Bryan Rindfuss

Chris Sauter’s Communion is now on view at St. Mark’s


One element of Sauter’s pilgrimage is yet to come: Rumor has it that there may be an apparition of St. Apophenia before the end of January. St. Apophenia, whose images graces the “To Use in Pilgrimage” brochure/map given at each stop of the exhibition, is the patron saint of “pattern-makers, coincidence, fortune tellers and the insane.” She has her own website and Facebook page, but you won’t find her in the standard rubric of Catholic saints. Sauter refers to her as an artwork, stipulating that many more-orthodox saints are amalgams of several people, or possibly partly-fictional. Apophenia “appeared” during Luminaria of 2013, as an amalgam of images Sauter projected on the Convention Center wall.

Perhaps the divine radio telescope of Communion is a symbol of St. Apophenia, hence a symbol of a symbol. This is right in line with the central theme of Sauter’s doctrine, that the divine inhabits religious practice and scientific exploration. And that, in his words, “the division between science and religion really is false. And just so dangerous, actually. Science, of course, is man-made because science is a systematic approach that man has come up with to question and test ideas about how the world works. It didn’t come from anywhere; we came up with these ideas. Science, at the very beginning, was magic.”

Coming as it does in the midst of awards season, it’s fun to think of the acceptance speech that Sauter might make at the conclusion of his four-part art pilgrimage delving into the false dichotomy between religion and science. Sauter gainsays any autobiographical content to his pilgrimage—or as much as is possible being that it is the work of one guy, but still. He is the common denominator, he would be on the podium.

I’m thinking something like, “I’d like to thank the whole team behind our human understanding of the magnificent mysteries of the divine, including Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi, Nicolaus Copernicus, John Polkinghorne, Peter Higgs and Francois Englert, and Galileo.” Then, as the usher-him-off music plays behind him, he raises his voice and his trophy and cries, “This is for you, St. Apophenia!”

Communion

Free
9am-5pm Mon-Fri; 7:45-noon Sun
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
315 E Pecan
(210) 226-2426
chrissauter.com

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