Buchan confronts naked truth

2011-12-03 00:00

EVANGELIST Angus Buchan has stuck to his guns on the position of women in society.

In an interview with Weekend Witness yesterday at Shalom Ministries, Buchan responded to the art exhibition of Celeste Coetzee, who posed nude against the backdrop of an extract from the Bible which read: “Wives submit to your husbands, respect your husbands”. She also tore pages from a Bible.

Coetzee, who was making a statement about the suffering of women in a patriarchal society, also used the exhibition to criticise the Faith Like Potatoes evangelist.

“The Bible is very clear,” he said. “If the husband, who is the father, does his rightful duty in the home, it is very easy for his wife to submit to him.”

Buchan, who continues his missionary work at the age of 64, said he finds Coetzee’s installation regrettable. “I’m sorry that she’s lowered herself to that state to try and get some kind of recognition.

Obviously she’s been hurt or misrepresented. But the main reason a wife should submit to her husband is because of the love the husband has for her. Simple as that.”

Addressing the issue of a patriarchal society, Buchan said: “South Africa has a fatherless generation.

And the problem with the young men running riot in this country is not their fault, it’s our fault,” he said, pointing to himself and visibly emotional. “That’s why God is using us in this era. Young men are looking for mentors. “We’re needing role models in our nation,” he said. “That is why the father needs to take his rightful place, and the mother needs to support him.”

Coetzee’s criticism of a patriarchal society generated “a lot of negative feedback” from the Franschoek gallery visitors, according to the curator, Carina Bekker.

Bekker said Coetzee’s work was pulled because the information the artist gave her about her work “didn’t relate to what she did”.

The agreement was for Coetzee to pose inside her installation, bare-breasted and wearing just a skirt.

She instead arrived for the opening dressed in traditional Voortrekker clothing.

Bekker said Coetzee intended to look vulnerable, but looked “scary”, and distorted the meaning of the work.

On two of the days she posed nude.

“She went from the one opposite to the other opposite,” said Bekker, and it was because of these “inconsistencies” that the installation was cancelled.

In response to tearing pages from the Bible, Bekker said: “I am completely against tearing pages out of the Bible. I will not tolerate that she tore pages out of the Bible.

“As a gallery that’s not the message we want to portray. She’s very negative to the old Afrikaner, Christian patriarchal system. She was trying to be the vulnerable woman suffering under the system.

“But women are not under that system anymore,” Bekker said, and it was women who were offended by Coetzee’s installation.

ryanc@witness.co.za

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