Dina Goldstein’s latest project involves deities, actors, the green-screen and a whole lot of makeup. This Canadian artist set out with a controversial idea in mind: bringing religious characters to life behind the camera. The pop surrealism emphasizes a plethora of color, emotion, and blatant modernism to accentuate the theme Goldstein had in mind: A suburban setting for her subjects to dwell, dressed as various deities and icons, thriving in a time of advancement and secularism, artistically forcing them to “suffer the human condition… as we do.”
The article title is Gods of Suburbia, and Goldstein is essentially humanizing dieties. Thus, it seems to me that she misinterprets Prophet Muhammad as a God of sorts, when he is presented in Islam as just a plain human. He did suffer the human condition as we did, because he was a human. However, paying close attention to her work, you can see that Prophet Muhammad is the only icon whose face is not shown in the pictures, something Muslims are very sensitive about. Goldstein’s cultural sensitivity is loud and very much appreciated.
She also makes her message to society clear:
The series plays with narrative and religious iconography in order to communicate consumerism and greed. The project challenges the viewer- religious or secular- to embark on a journey of self-reflection as they contemplate the relevance of dogmata in modernity.
Dina Goldstein’s eleven religious subjects are: Jesus and his Apostles, Satan, God, Prophet Muhammad, Darwin, Lakshmi, Ganesh, Buddha, Voodoo Queen, Horn God and Moon Goddess, and Lord Xenu; ranging from Christianity to Judaism to Islam, Satanism to Scientology to Hinduism, Buddhism to Wicca to Voodoo.
Check out Dina Goldstein here. What do you guys think?