Die Harder


March 12, 2012 by LeVoyageur

Walking past Southwark Cathedral, Bankside, London today, I saw a small sign for a sculpture installation inside which immediately drew me in.  David Mach’s sculpture Die Harder will be in place until Good Friday.

You do not need to be a Christian to understand the evocative message of this inspiring piece of art. This sculpture is a meditation itself on the passion of Christ which is the theme of the Lenten season as I understand it. The passion radiates out from the figure of Christ in agony on the cross. Using coat hangers to pierce the body, Mach describes the wires in this work as if “transmitting messages out into the world and receiving them back simultaneously.”

Die Harder, Southwark Cathedral, Lent 2012, David Mach RA

This figure of Christ on the cross is a figure in ecstasy and agony.  It strikes me as a deeply mystical image in which the death of Christ is a moment in which God’s incarnation on Earth is brought back in spirit to His Being. As the temporal life of Jesus comes to an end, the eternal nature of God presents itself as if in signs and wonders. While I do not see joy on the face of Jesus in Mach’s crucifix, I do see a sense of the terrible and the majestic – the Eternal passing through a mortal moment.

If you are in London or passing through before Good Friday, make time to see this installation by a contemporary artist whose work speaks unlike anything I have recently seen. More information can be found at the Southwark Cathedral website and at the website of David Mach.

Die Harder, sculpture by David Mach RA, Southwark Cathedral, London, Lent 2012

4 thoughts on “Die Harder

  1. […] Die Harder: David Mach’s Lenten Sculpture at Southwark Cathedral(dayreturn.wordpress.com) […]

  2. 2b14u says:

    It made me think of Hebrews 12:2-3 in the New Testament. How tall was the scuplture?

  3. James LaForest says:

    I’m not sure how tall – about 7-8 feet I think. Larger than life, but not gigantic. Thanks for the note!

  4. […] Die Harder (Daily Returns) Another early 21st century crucifix. Not as successful as Outraged Christ for liturgical use IMHO, but perhaps more in line with contemporary British figural sculpture overall. […]

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