The Crucifixion According to Radiohead


 Origionally posted by Scott Erickson

This is a video recalling the Good Friday service I did in April 2011. It was a multi-media meditative art piece depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ while being narrated by the music of Radiohead. Using the Stations of the Cross as my narrative arch, I used a different Radiohead song for each statio as well as a video piece to coincide with it… all the while creating a live painting depicting the crucifix. This video shows the video I made as well as a taping of one of my performances.

About using Radiohead….
In no way did I attempt to try to “Christianize” Radiohead music. I was not using it in this setting to try to say to people “look! there are christian messages in their music… you just have to listen for it!” And in no way am I trying to use this music to propogate evangelizing the world to my belief systems. Radiohead has created what they have created… and it’s beautiful and awesome. But in considering music that portrays someones execution, I have yet to find music as powerful, intense, haunting, and honest as I have with Radiohead. No one got up before this gathering and told people what to think and told them what the music was saying. I put it together and left if for the viewer/listener to do with it what they will. 

This started about a year before. Anytime I would hear certain Radiohead songs (the ones in this performance) I would have this vision that in some way these songs were telling a story. As the year progressed the visions became more and more clear. By the beginning of January 2011, I could see that these were to be in a depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus.

Being an artist for a number of years now, artmaking comes in a few forms. Sometimes making art is putting together aesthetical pieces to accomplish your envisioned goal. You know what you want to make and you do the hard skillful work of putting that together. But other times, ideas/songs/images come to you and ask you to bring them into reality. So artmaking is really about listening. This is the case with this project. It was a lot of listening. Listening to the Great Muse. This has many names. For me and my own experiences, I believe this voice is from the Almighty and I believe He was asking me to bring this into reality. It was simply follow directions and it was one of the easiest things I’ve ever put together. It’s really hard to explain but everything just fell into place so easily. I knew exactly what songs were suppose to be in there. I knew what order. Gathering the videos took me an afternoon. I could just see it all.

This really hit me when I found myself in Jerusalem for 3 days with some friends on a work/mini-pilgrimage. This idea had been mulling around and I was wrestling through if I should do it or not. Then I realized I was in the actual place where Jesus walked to the cross, died on it, was buried and laid in a tomb. And I had video cameras with me. So some of the footage you see in the video is actually from my trip to Jerusalem.

You obviously lose a lot of the experience of being in the moment where you are hearing the music loudly, watching the video, and see me create the painting in person when you watch this video on-line. But it only happened once at Ecclesia in the city of Houston. So here it is for you too see what it looked like.

2 responses to “The Crucifixion According to Radiohead

  1. Now this is really an intriguing blend of art and faith. Looking forward to hearing/seeing it.

  2. I can’t decide if this is blasphemous or merely infantile. Good luck in your alternative universe where God is whoever you decide He is.

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