Ikon | Queer | Greenbelt 2005

Instead of her usual canvas, the artist paints homophobic insults on the body of a young man. He stands motionless and she paints in silence, throughout the service. The floor of the entire room is scattered with stones, as if in preparation for a stoning.

In the background, Pete Rollins explains that the service will not take sides in the theological and moral debate. Instead, we are asked to listen to testimonies of what it is like to live with a sexuality - gay, lesbian or bisexual - that is not always accepted, or cannot easily be expressed.

The stones scattered across the floor represent our judgements. At the corners of the podium are squares of bubblewrap and pieces of string. We take these and wrap a stone.

The power of our judgements to hurt is blunted.

We join in a liturgy of living together and listening even if we do not agree.

At the end of the service the man's skin is full of words.

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