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Material Sacramentality | Pussy Riot and Letters From Prison

Idolaters by instinct, we convert the objects of our dreams and our interests into the Unconditional. History is nothing but a procession of false Absolutes, a series of temples raised to pretexts, a degradation of the mind before the Improbable. Even when he turns from religion, man remains subject to it; depleting himself to create fake gods, he feverishly adopts them: his need for fiction, for mythology triumphs over evidence and absurdity alike. –E.M. Cioran

Echoing Nietzsche, Nadya Tolokonnikova explains in one of her letters from prison to the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, that Pussy Riot are children of Dionysos, sailing in a barrel and not recognizing any authority. I believe that one could rightfully say that Pussy Riot are practitioners of the Nietzschean trope of looking away, hence their activism is not a naive negation of the wholesale nfl jerseys rulers, authorities and cosmic powers of the present darkness. Although Patriarch Kirill I and Vladimir Putin does not seem to comprehend it, such slave morality is beneath these colorful rioters who rather breaks with the old aeon in order to continuously call forth a new. In that sense they are becoming-apocalypticians. Their oppositional gesture can be described as a catacombic negation of fire, by which I mean that their critique is so dirty and impure that they have managed to dis-close the idol cheap jerseys temples of Russia and thus opened them up for an unknown future, for better or for worse. As Nadya tells Zizek, there are Apollonian statics but there are also punk singers of dynamics and transformation:

One is not better than the other. But it is only together that we can ensure the world functions in the way Heraclitus defined it: “This world has been and Glasgow will eternally be living on the rhythm cheap jerseys China of fire, inflaming according to the measure, and dying away according to the measure. This is the functioning of the eternal world breath”.

On February 21, 2012, five members of Pussy Riot performed in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Most people knows about this event and that as a consequence three members of the punk collective were convicted for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred (the other two members managed to escape from Russia). The church responded by saying that the activists were doing the work of the devil but I claim that we should view their performance as an expression of material sacramentality, a theological practice which accepts Daniel Barber’s Christo-centric refusal of ‘pre-established relations not only ”vertically” whereby those above are overthrown by world! those below, but also ”horizontally”, whereby the strict disjunction of friend and enemy is undone by the practice of a divinely perfect love.’ Material sacramentality, Nba then, is a continuous and creative re-expression of the world as we know it, but it is not limited by the world since it sails in a barrel and does not recognize any authority. Hence, material sacramentality is not a mere repetition but a repetition that feeds of the eternal world breath; it is repetition with a difference.

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