On Wednesday a mystery man/woman(?) called ‘RIP Ikon’ commented on one of my previous posts, ‘Heresies and How to Avoid Them.’ Back in February, this post drew a comment from regular contributor Rodney Neill, who said:
I was deeply involved in Ikon for a number of years and all it ever was to me was a self involved debating/drama society for theology and philosophy graduates as so in no way representative of the church as a whole. ..it is now practically defunct and am not sure if they would appreciate the label of ‘Christian’ at all if they were to meet.
Neill’s comment prompted a flurry of responses, many on Facebook, which confirmed that Ikon is not, indeed, dead (yet).
The next Ikon gathering, billed ‘Resuscitation’ will take place this Sunday 17 April, at 7 pm at the Old Police Station, Queen Street, in Belfast.
I am unable to attend, because I will be flying back from the London Marathon. (An event that may mean I will require some resuscitation. … And in a shameless plug, there is still time to support the charity I am raising money for, Zimbabwe Orphan Care.)
But back to Resuscitation, it promises to be another intriguing night, and I suspect that those who have planned the event will take full advantage of the unique architectural space that is the old police station.
Ikon has described its events as ‘transformance art.’
To give the uninitiated a flavour of how people in Ikon (may) think about this, I quote from a chapter by Peter Rollins in a new book, Church in the Present Tense: A Candid Look at What’s Emerging, by Scot McKnight, Rollins, Kevin Corcoran and Jason Clark (Brazos Press, 2011, p. 97-98):
In order to move beyond the theoretical, various emerging collectives have been experimenting with what I call transformance art. Transformance art can be described as an immersive art from that invites people to engage in a theatrical, ritualistic performance whereby they enact the death of God (as dues ex machina) and the resurrection of God (as one who dwells among us) with the purpose of reconfiguring one’s social existence.
Transformance art represents the attempt to subvert the ironic stance, providing a space for those who truly wish to enact a religionless Christianity rather than merely intellectually affirm it. It attempts to symbolically enact the negation of negation at work in the later Bonhoeffer as a means of encouraging the reconfiguration of one’s social existence.
Or, more precisely, one can say that transformance art is a multisensory theatrical provocation designed to cut against the gap between belief and action, offering substantive transformation. It aims to express and symbolically enact the logic of incarnation, in which the word is made flesh in fleshly activity.