Children of a Lesser God

While UK multiculturalism scrambles to appease Islamic sensibilities, Christian sensibilities are being appropriated and mocked in London.

Opening earlier this week at the magnificent former Holy Trinity Church designed by Sir John Sloane at One Marylebone in central London, The Age of the Marvellous intends to re-create the sense of awe and wonder created by the Cabinets of Curiosities popular in the late Renaissance from 1550-1700.  Precursors to museums, the Renaissance cabinets were simply rooms meant to display the learned abilities and worldliness of the royalty and wealthy who assembled them. Wikipedia describes them:
"These seventeenth-century cabinets were filled with preserved animals, horns, tusks, skeletons,(and) minerals, as well as other types of equally fascinating man-made objects: sculptures wondrously old, wondrously fine or wondrously small; clockwork automata; ethnographic specimens from exotic locations. Often they would contain a mix of fact and fiction, including apparently mythical creatures." 

The aim of this fascinating but sometimes troubling exhibition claims to be to

"display a new-found tendency for contemporary artists to look beyond the limitations of aesthetic conventions, to a varied, more cross-disciplinary approach that integrates areas of human knowledge that exist outside the boundaries of traditional art making."

The works exhibited by artist Paul Fryer are both particularly troubling and especially revealing.   They are undoubtedly outside the boundaries of conventional taste. Certain to be the most controversial exhibit in the show is Frye's monumental sculpture titled "The Privilege of Dominion."

See image here.

The work is a life-sized mountain gorilla, mounted on a crucifix, created using the waxwork techniques of the Tussaud's museums.  It is displayed with the beautiful stained glass windows of the Holy Trinity Church as backdrop.

"Dominion" is certainly akin to the in-your-face, agit-prop posing as art promoted by the likes of Andres Serrano and others embroiled in the controversy surrounding the National Endowment for the Arts subsidies in the late 80's in the United States.  The blasphemy and intentional offense to Christians here is hard to miss.

But I believe that Fryer's sculpture says a great deal more about the secular-humanist, envrionemtalist-warmist mindset that is most likely to be inclined to "appreciate" the sculpture.  Those who subscribe to the preachings of Al Gore, PETA, Greenpeace and their ilk, undoubtedly believe that the mountain gorilla died for their sins.  As do the snail darter, the California condor and most notoriously of late, the polar bear.

By taking over the educational systems in the West, the left has successfully engendered the internalization of responsibility for the endangerment of these animal species and flora into the minds of susceptible students and simpatico leftists.  Thus the entire environmentalist movement is just one giant guilt-trip.

The emotional investment provided by this sense of guilt enables the 21st century environmentalist to effectively disconnect from logic, turning their interest in ecological protection into a sort of faith.  Thus the recognition of "Environmentalism as Religion" by Michael Crichton, among others.

As the assault on Christianity from the left continues unabated in the West, the offense to Christians provided by The Privilege of Dominion, whether intended or not, is certain to bring some childish glee to some of the less introspective enviros and humanists.  That the art says much more about these children of a lesser god will likely go unnoticed amongst them.

Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target
While UK multiculturalism scrambles to appease Islamic sensibilities, Christian sensibilities are being appropriated and mocked in London.

Opening earlier this week at the magnificent former Holy Trinity Church designed by Sir John Sloane at One Marylebone in central London, The Age of the Marvellous intends to re-create the sense of awe and wonder created by the Cabinets of Curiosities popular in the late Renaissance from 1550-1700.  Precursors to museums, the Renaissance cabinets were simply rooms meant to display the learned abilities and worldliness of the royalty and wealthy who assembled them. Wikipedia describes them:
"These seventeenth-century cabinets were filled with preserved animals, horns, tusks, skeletons,(and) minerals, as well as other types of equally fascinating man-made objects: sculptures wondrously old, wondrously fine or wondrously small; clockwork automata; ethnographic specimens from exotic locations. Often they would contain a mix of fact and fiction, including apparently mythical creatures." 

The aim of this fascinating but sometimes troubling exhibition claims to be to

"display a new-found tendency for contemporary artists to look beyond the limitations of aesthetic conventions, to a varied, more cross-disciplinary approach that integrates areas of human knowledge that exist outside the boundaries of traditional art making."

The works exhibited by artist Paul Fryer are both particularly troubling and especially revealing.   They are undoubtedly outside the boundaries of conventional taste. Certain to be the most controversial exhibit in the show is Frye's monumental sculpture titled "The Privilege of Dominion."

See image here.

The work is a life-sized mountain gorilla, mounted on a crucifix, created using the waxwork techniques of the Tussaud's museums.  It is displayed with the beautiful stained glass windows of the Holy Trinity Church as backdrop.

"Dominion" is certainly akin to the in-your-face, agit-prop posing as art promoted by the likes of Andres Serrano and others embroiled in the controversy surrounding the National Endowment for the Arts subsidies in the late 80's in the United States.  The blasphemy and intentional offense to Christians here is hard to miss.

But I believe that Fryer's sculpture says a great deal more about the secular-humanist, envrionemtalist-warmist mindset that is most likely to be inclined to "appreciate" the sculpture.  Those who subscribe to the preachings of Al Gore, PETA, Greenpeace and their ilk, undoubtedly believe that the mountain gorilla died for their sins.  As do the snail darter, the California condor and most notoriously of late, the polar bear.

By taking over the educational systems in the West, the left has successfully engendered the internalization of responsibility for the endangerment of these animal species and flora into the minds of susceptible students and simpatico leftists.  Thus the entire environmentalist movement is just one giant guilt-trip.

The emotional investment provided by this sense of guilt enables the 21st century environmentalist to effectively disconnect from logic, turning their interest in ecological protection into a sort of faith.  Thus the recognition of "Environmentalism as Religion" by Michael Crichton, among others.

As the assault on Christianity from the left continues unabated in the West, the offense to Christians provided by The Privilege of Dominion, whether intended or not, is certain to bring some childish glee to some of the less introspective enviros and humanists.  That the art says much more about these children of a lesser god will likely go unnoticed amongst them.

Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target