Lovely day in Kassel, at about 4:30 am, workers from a local construction company began dismantling Olu Oguibe’s “controversial obelisk made for Documenta 14, titled “Monument to Strangers and Refugees,” (“I was a stranger and you took me in”: Matthew 25:35) with two heavy cranes.
By 9:30 am, the obelisk was entirely gone, strapped to a flatbed truck and sent to a construction site on the outskirts of the city (where it now remains).
HMS Bulwark lives up to her name and turns her back on migrants dying in the Mediterranean … after all it was only a temporary assignment … until the public outcry had evaporated.
After all the ship was built to put marines ashore to kill people we don’t like. That’s what they do. Though like a school art show or poor inner city kids dancing at a civic opening it looks good plucking desperate people from the sea.
And the weird thing of living somewhere other than London, is that we know people serving on Bulwark and Ocean — they’re not just blocks on a map.
Holman Hunt’s weird and lurid little painting, mostly done at Usdum (that’s Mount Sodom to me) on the Dead Sea in Judea, fascinated me as a kid — a tiny day-glo nightmare with a rainbow (the one in Manchester anyway); compelling but obviously mad and a bit crappy.
I didn’t know that he had some sort of crazy millenarian christian zionist (they have those?) conviction that any jew seeing it would spontaneously convert to christianity. Hmmm …
And I thought the idea of casting a goat out into the wilderness, on Yom Kippur, to perish, and with it the sins and sorrows of the community with which it was invested, was barmy.
I find it horrible and shameful that our Modern, Civilised society can still so easily be convinced that voodoo shit like that might work.
Just added this to my Portfolio.
Been struggling with this image for a while. Wanted to use Géricault’s Raft of The Medusa because of its articulation of, and call to, public outrage, which seems horribly absent nearly 200 years later.
It strikes me that The Mediterranean is what binds us in Europe to Africa rather than a moat dividing us.
To turn our backs on fellow people in ultimate need is to turn our backs on our humanity.
I originally had an image from a dream — a hazy mist, a milky, flat sea with tiny reaching hands breaking the oily surface like a matt of seeweed, bobbing rather than waving.
It was too dead, too final.
Just the one strong hand, of one of Géricault’s survivors, still striving, reaching for the horizon and dawn’s rescue was much more powerful and direct.