The papal pow-wow between his holiness and some 260 artists (including Bono, architects Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind, Ennio Morricone, Robert Wilson and artists John David Mooney and Bill Viola) took place on Saturday in the Sistine Chapel, and despite my fears, nobody was mysteriously found at the bottom of the Mediterranean with a pair of cement slippers the following day. As the AFP points out, this is the second such Pope’s invitational: 45 years ago Paul VI brought artists to the Vatican so he could personally apologize (!) for the church’s treatment of artists.
On Saturday Benedict wasn’t apologetic, but instead outlined his global curatorial vision by telling the artists present to be mindful of their “great responsibility to communicate beauty.” Benedict went on:
What is capable of restoring enthusiasm and confidence, what can encourage the human spirit to rediscover its path, to raise its eyes to the horizon, to dream of a life worthy of its vocation—if not beauty?
So, I guess what he’s saying is that we’re still in the Renaissance. Artists: if you want to get into heaven, start painting landscapes with beautiful horizons and pretty clouds (angels and hands-of-god optional). (Artinfo)