New York, November 2, 2008

Dear Jesus Christ,

Please don't let the large "Hell, Yes" sign on the fašade of the New Museum deter you from casting a benevolent eye on the Bowery! It is only the work of Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, who happens to be the lover of poet John Giorno, himself a close friend of Laura Hoptman, a curator of the New Museum. And please ignore the signage on the Bowery Mission Outreach Truck, which claims to be serving hungry people throughout New York City yet remains anchored as a permanent eyesore in front of the Mission. Any good Christian knows that you never uttered the words, "You catch them, I'll clean them," as advertised on the truck's hood. I have no idea how they could re-interpret your poetic words "Follow me, and I will make you fisher of men" (Mathew 4:19) in such vile language. To solve this riddle, you might want to call upon the Bowery Mission President & CEO, Edward Morgan (email: emorgan@chaonline.org).

On the positive side, last Sunday afternoon, as I was seated at my portable Homeless Museum booth on the Bowery, I spotted three young homeless men on their way to service at the Bowery Mission. In unison, they kindly informed me about the Mission's current theme of the month, "Great is His Faithfulness," to which I gently replied: "Great is your faithfulness, gentlemen!"

I am also happy to inform you that you are soon to be celebrated in an unprecedented way by a new generation of artists in a major international triennial organized by the New Museum. The first edition of this triennial, scheduled for Spring 2009, will carry your illustrious name in its title (Younger Than Jesus) and focus on artists under the age of 33, the very age at which you were coerced into staging your brilliant (and final) performance on the cross.

Like the New Museum, I am very keen on entering into a closer relationship with you, and I was wondering if you would consider the following proposal. Last year, New Museum Trustee Toby Devan Lewis, a close affiliate to the nation's third largest auto insurer, made a challenge grant for the New Museum by pledging a generous gift of $64 million to name the Museum's Directorship. Since then, New Museum Director Lisa Phillips has officially adopted the title "Toby Devan Lewis Director" and publicly called Miss Devan Lewis a "model citizen" and "enlightened benefactor." Given its mission, I cannot count on receiving any financial support for my Homeless Museum of Art but am always seeking spiritual support, and so I was wondering if you would allow me to officially rename my own directorship after you and henceforth call myself the "Jesus Christ Director" (I may point out that we are technically already family: my last name is Noterdaeme, which stems from Notre Dame, Our Lady).

Please give me a sign ASAP. A ray of sunshine on my Homeless Museum booth on the Bowery this afternoon will do - it's getting cold out there. As always, you are in all my prayers.

Sincerely,

Filip Noterdaeme
Director, HOMU