The Good News/Neue Zurcher Zeitung 18/10/2005, is a 2005 artwork by Jim Hodges. It is a newspaper gilded in 24 karat gold. It is part of a series of gilded newspapers from all around the world.
Messiaen’s commentary on XVII. Regard du silence (Gaze of silence):
“Silence in the hand, reversed rainbow … each silence of the manger reveals music and colors that are the mysteries of Jesus Christ…
Polymodality, rhythmic canon by the addition of the note value of a dot, special chords, the Theme of Chords. The entire piece is highly figured like the piano writing. The ending: alternating chords, multicolored and impalpable music, in confetti, in light jewels, in colliding reflections.”
Good news is such a joy. The Good News even more so. Why would anyone want to gild a newspaper? They are so easily discarded, not revered.
Gold is a unique metal. It is exceedingly rare, easily shaped, and it is pure. That last part is important. When Gold is refined to 24 karats it does not tarnish. It will not fade. At a molecular level it does not have any open bonds. Its purity and luster connect it easily with the sun.
The Good News is a meditation on the refiner’s fire, even if the artist is unaware. The joy of advent is that all things will be refined and made new.
The most mysterious part of that refining process and of the gilded newspaper is the confrontation of bad news. How can someone gild badness in gold? Similarly, how can bad news be redeemed or refined? Do you think the music elevates the dissonance of the chords? Is its reversed rainbow like a reversal of bad news?
It is hard for me to believe that Christ actually redeems and refines pain and suffering. It often feels impossible. I long for a day when I can see the good news of all things. That will be a day of joy.
Will the Lamb’s Book of Life be similar to this artwork or will it be similar to this song?