THE JESUS PROJECT
Eowyn Ruud-Olsen contacted me telling me she had this art project in mind, in which she wanted to do her interpretation of scenes from "Jesus Christ Superstar"". This world is full with pain and we all get bigger or smaller amounts of it. And at some point we have to save ourselves, no matter how good or bad the hand that was given us is. It's unfair, but it is what it is, and in the end we are responsible for how our life turns out to be. We are responsible for what we are going to do with that hand, no matter what it looks like.
I was so pumped for this project, as I feel the same way myself and I see it as very relevant and current for our movements today. I'm all about that those hands we are given are pretty fucked up in terms of equality. I live as a white, middle-class, neurotypical, mentally pretty stable Scandinavian with a good security network around me - my hand looks pretty darn good. But then I also live in this world as a woman, and that's enough to give anyone so much anger it will require a lot of work to figure out how to live your life without having that anger totally consuming you. Because life as a woman is hard because you are a woman. I'm no stranger to understanding how social structures, norms, ideas and prejudices will define your life. Not because you want them to, but because they force you to.
It's unfair. So now what? Do we just lay down and die? Wait for someone else to fix the world? Wait for someone else to finally give us what is rightfully ours?
It won't happen. No-one can make your life better and no-one will fight for you and no-one will give you anything just because you deserve it. In the end, you have to be your own fighter, your own angel, and to make sure you love yourself. Play the hand you've been given as well as you can. And make that life of yours a damn good one.
So, when Eowyn wrote me that she wanted to do her take on this save yourself-message from Jesus Christ Superstar, and that she wanted me to have the main role as Jesus - I got about as enthusiastic as a person can get, and even more since I'm a pretty enthusiastic person. "YYYYEEEEESSSSSSS FFS YES!!!!!", or something like that. It did add to he experience that I'm a big fan of Eowyn's art - I think she's so artistically skilled; and it did make the whole experience even more overwhelming and fantastic when I met her and learned that she's a very loving and beautiful human being as well.
On the day for the shoot it turned out to be an even more intense experience than I first had thought. I had twenty strangers dressed in rags stretching for me, touching me and pulling my naked body towards them, to very laud and dramatic music, in a dark concert hall, with the photographer on a fork lift above me, yelling instructions to what my next emotion should be. For my duo shoot with "Judas" I walked around in fifteen minutes mumbling lines to myself to stay in the right kind of anxiety. And for my solo shoot I had to feel abandoned by my father God, question the sacrifice of me, surrender to the idea of dying for the cause, all the way to the panic and adrenaline pumped feeling of "So just do it then! Do it now! Just kill me!". I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the day, so thank God we went for wine as a wrap up(!).
Thank you Eowyn for choosing me for your fantastic project. Thank you for being professional and empathetic from start to finish. And thank you for turning this extraordinary experience into extraordinary art.