I’ve always been fascinated by sculpture, from ancient times to today. There’s room for abstract in this medium but I find it’s at its best when it is representational, and when it sends a message. I stumbled on 33 Weird Statues and Sculptures Around the World from toroller.com.
What strikes me is the difference in, shall I say, boldness between European and American sculptures, in topic and in content. No way would a fifteen foot vulva be displayed in a prominent park in Canada or the United States, although I could see it in some South America States.
What does that say about us? That we are more prudish? That we have better taste? That we are more limited in our art appreciation? That our governments have less courage?
On the other hand, maybe Europe is more broad-minded only when it comes to the secular. Terence Koh’s sculpture of an erect Jesus has created an uproar (“Christ is risen!” said the Sun). Hmmm. Although he was supposedly fashioned as man’s image, that part of the plumbing wasn’t supposed to work. He obviously wasn’t a perfect god.
Sarcasm aside, and religion aside, it is still interesting to think that our city’s sculpture may be a reflection of who we are as a people, or, more likely, who our government is. In Ottawa, our sculptures are mostly of dead, important political people. Perhaps fitting, since we are the capital of Canada, but oh, so boring.
Not surprising for a city that stows its sidewalks (metaphorically, of course) at 10pm on a Saturday night.
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