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Scott Mutter (1944 - 2008) was an American photographer whose claim to fame was the art of photomontage – creating a composite photograph by trimming, cutting, pasting or joining together a number of other photographs. He was fond of images from the Chicago area and used the term "Surrational Images" to describe his work.
One of Mutter's most innovative and thought-provoking creations is Church Aisle. First our eyes see a large cathedral space with its vaulted ceilings and its rows and rows of pews. Then we are taken aback when we realize that the center aisle is a busy city street with cars, busses, trucks, and pedestrians making their way past buildings which are really the church pews.
This imaginative photomontage by Mutter transforms our traditional understandings of church and God. Many of us think of a church as a place where God is to be worshipped. But this radical photograph shifts the devotion and reverence we feel for the Holy One to the city where most people around the world live and work. God speaks to us as we sit in our cars, walk the streets, shop, eat, listen to musicians, and converse with our friends.
Mutter has bequeathed to us a visual appreciation for what we like to call "City Spirituality." Here is where the tire hits the road and our faith comes alive in the practice of love, compassion, kindness, justice, forgiveness, and reverence. The city is the place where spiritual values and visions are evident as people interact and work together to create a better and more just metropolis. To fulfill this mission, we are challenged to see the sacred dimensions of cars, traffic, buildings, apartments, streets, and strangers. The urban milieu becomes our avenue or "aisle" to God.