Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Device to Root out Evil

I stood in a small park by the ocean today in Vancouver staring at an outstanding sculpture by Dennis Oppenheim called the device to root out evil.

In some aspects it is not a surprise that Stanford rejected the piece of art as it can be viewed through a very negative lense. An upside down church to some could be as heretical as an inverted crucifix but at the same time it can tell a dozen other stories. Here are my dozen:

1. The Church is being turned upside down in our day to have greater relevance
2. The Church was never designed to be an institution but rater a tool (device) to bring life to the world in which we live
3. The Church was sent down to penetrate the earth (hence the steeple digging into the ground)
4. The Church represents an upside down kingdom of values in a self infatuated world
5. The Church is noticably empty
6. The Church has been turned upside down to shake out all the people back into normal reality
7. The Church is still iconic and will never be forgotten no matter what way you look at it
8. The Church was meant to disturb the normal ways of life
9. We perceive the Church to be one thing but it may have been designed to be something very different
10. The Church has become the inverted cross and is fighting against much of what it was designed to be
11. The tiles are falling off the roof as it can no longer can be contained
12. The Church was designed to capture everyone's attention and to cause active change in the world

I am sure that I could rant on with another dozen but instead I will stop here in the hope that the conversation continues.

In conclusion, I am still astounded that this is in the middle of Vancouver. It brings me hope that I live in a country that is willing to ask the bigger questions

Mark Dowds

23 Comments:

At 12:08 PM, Blogger dan said...

thanks for the highlight of this piece of art ... i'm checking it out when i'm in town next ...

::dan::

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Markimus said...

I love the thought that its plowing ground in the best format...Cross first... Beat your swords into Churches

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger Andy Fay said...

that's a cracker! hello Mark - good to see your smiley face again - glad to see you're doing well in the US. Hope to catch up with you sometime again.

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Mark Dowds said...

Andy, I hope you are doing good. I thought that this would be one you'd like...

Mark

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger Markimus said...

Dowdsy ... posting a video blog from that location... Would love your feedback... markdehoog.com.

Posting over the weekend.

 
At 8:27 PM, Blogger Mark Dowds said...

have you posted it yet Mark?

 
At 10:14 PM, Blogger Markimus said...

just finishing it up ... should be up saturday night ...

 
At 12:35 AM, Blogger Mark Dowds said...

sounds great. i will look forward to it

mark

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger Markimus said...

M

Video is live ...

M

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Hey Mark, I found your blog from Google. I just want to say that your takes on Oppenheim's piece are awesome!

Unfortunately... Vancouver rooted out the Device to Root Out Evil yesterday. I was pretty sad by it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/melissa_sucks/2550882076/

I tried to take a picture of it before it left but it doesn't have the red tiles like when you saw it.

 
At 10:20 PM, Anonymous mark Dowds said...

Melissa, It is indeed sad that the art is moving out of Vancouver. I was chatting with John Bromley about it this week. It seems that even though it is disappointing to be moved on from Vancouver, Cowtown will get to benefit...

 
At 12:04 AM, Blogger J Reid said...

The Glenbow Museum in Calgary managed to obtain the sculpture and its new home in Calgary was unveiled this morning as the sculpture arrived in the city and was paraded to where it will be installed in a park just south of the Stampede grounds, surrounded by an area where a massive revitalization is underway.

 
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