YAJAHIRA, Santsima Muerte. Photo by Rick Nahmias
YAJAHIRA, Santsima Muerte. Photo by Rick Nahmias

Other Perspectives

With the results of the midterm elections pretty much settled, liberals and conservatives can finally agree on one thing: the existence of a just and merciful God. Yes, while many secular Democrats are reconsidering their beliefs due to their gains in the House and Senate, Christian fundamentalists are joyfully anticipating the Rapture as illegal immigrants (or, as the neo-cons know them, Satan's Li'l Helpers) are granted amnesty, homosexuals are allowed to butcher and cannibalize our fetuses, and our schoolchildren are forced to mock a picture of Jesus in their classrooms every morning. To paraphrase Nietzsche, God may be dead, but at least in the pages of this paper, irony lives on.

With all the excitement surrounding the Messiah's return, it's easy to forget there are at least two or three other religions practiced in this country. The current exhibition at the Fullerton Museum Center aims to address these slightly less politically exploitable faiths by presenting their stories via words and pictures collected over the past three years by artist and documentarian Rick Nahmias.

Nahmias presents the images of such alternative groups as a transgendered gospel choir in San Francisco, a community of San Quentin inmates who have become Zen Buddhists and a group of Muslims living in Santa Ana who survived the Khmer Rouge genocide. Accompanying his evocative photographs—many of them life-sized—is his collection of audio recordings of his subjects and transcriptions of his interviews. Coinciding with the exhibition, the Fullerton Museum Center is conducting a lecture series with representatives from the interfaith community in an effort to spread a little tolerance and understanding in this time of famine. Remember, everyone: nobody's got a monopoly on God . . . so in the off chance that Jesus isn't coming back as soon as it might seem, it's worth considering some alternatives.

"Golden States of Grace" at the Fullerton Museum Center, 301 N. Pomona Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6545; www.cityoffullerton.com/depts/museum. Tues.-Wed. & Fri.-Sun., noon-4 p.m.; Thurs., noon-8 p.m. $1-$4. Through Jan. 14, 2007.


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