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We get the sculpture we deserve Martin Luther King has been decapitated for the 'swarm'


January 19, 2023   6 mins

Dismembered limbs. Torture flashbacks. Screams. Humans pulled apart and reassembled. A chilling scene in the 2007 Battlestar Galactica sci-fi movie Razor depicts Commander Adama’s recollections of stumbling upon a laboratory where the flesh/robot hybrid Cylons conducted horrific experiments on living human beings.

The Embrace, a new statue unveiled in Boston to honour Martin Luther King, brought exactly this to mind.

The 20-foot bronze is intended to depict the moment King learned he had won the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s inspired by a photograph of him embracing his wife, Coretta Scott King. But it doesn’t depict the pair enjoying a hug. It’s just the arms, joined by immense, amorphous, organic-looking tubes that evoke tentacles, raw sausage, or perhaps a length of colon. Even, as many suggested (including one of Coretta Scott King’s descendants), a giant penis.

Nor was the derision solely from conservative quarters, for all that it was louder there. Even Karen Attiah of the Washington Post fretted at these two important figures in the civil rights movement “reduced to body parts”, denouncing it as a “dismembered” and “de-racialised” symbol of anodyne “love”, shorn of King’s true radicalism. But this is, in fact, precisely the point. The Embrace captures a peculiar dilemma of the emerging post-human political order. How do you wield the power of public art as a way of signalling shared meanings, when your claim to rightful rule is based on the idea that all shared meaning is by definition oppressive?

It has always been the prerogative of ruling elites to determine the nature, placement and aesthetic of public monuments. From ancient Rome to the British Empire, or indeed the Soviet Union and beyond, one may infer a great deal about ruling moral and political priors from what gets a big statue. In 2020, for example, the president of Turkmenistan unveiled a surreal 19ft gilded statue of an Asian shepherd dog, symbolising the country’s heritage. Other monumental works of the last half-century or so may be religious, such as Japan’s 120m Ushiku Daibutsu Buddha statue, completed in 1993. Or, often, they are nationalistic, such as Russia’s 85m The Motherland Calls, completed in 1967, or the 182m statue of Vallabhbhai Patel unveiled in 2018 in Gujarat, as a symbol of Indian unity and independence.

And as one power falls and another rises, so too the older monuments will be at risk: images of Saddam’s giant statue toppling in 2003 are an iconic part of the Iraq war, while (on a smaller scale) the fall of Edward Colston into Bristol Harbour was a similarly iconic moment in the modern statue wars.

And even if fallen statues are preserved, it matters a great deal where. A giant gilded dog on an important thoroughfare in Ashgabat is infinitely more honoured than the likenesses of Stalin that now dot GrĆ«tas Park in Lithuania, informally known as Stalin World. Here, tourists may view a huge collection of toppled Soviet-era monuments, the lack of reverence in their placement underlined by juxtaposition with a children’s playground and mini-zoo.

But what the statue defenders perhaps don’t realise is that we all already live in GrĆ«tas Park: a semi-ironic display of relics from a civilisation and political order that died in the 20th century. For it is not a coincidence that every instance of large, figurative monumental art of the kind described above is located in a non-Western country. In Western Europe, that style was largely abandoned after 1945: too many blamed the high culture of the 19th century, including its Christian faith, for the horrors that killed millions. In response, tastemakers turned away from figurative works – and as for heroic idealisations of the human form, forget it: just a bit too Nazi.

Instead, postwar art mavens embraced abstraction, clean lines and planes, exemplified by the “modern, forward-looking and contemporary” Festival of Britain. Sculptors such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth reflect that commitment to a world stripped bare of anything too heroic, figurative, or ideological: one that had shed its dangerous fixation with the past, and pointed only toward a clean, innovative, universalist tomorrow. Public art was best when it didn’t really say anything. Traces of the older order, meanwhile, were for the most part politely ignored, or (increasingly) treated as relics.

But that intermezzo is over. As the End of History has come to an end, public art has once again become a site of explicit moral statement: not spaces filled with abstractions where no one mentions the war, but increasingly the battlefield itself. Gone are the carefully neutral, antiseptic abstracts. Now, public art must have a message.

But what should it say? The old order knew what it drew on: broadly speaking, in the contest over what we memorialise, one side stands for the long, messy history of the West – including the Christian humanist vision of human nature and dignity, and the common good, that Martin Luther King, a preacher, drew upon for his civil rights activism. But as far as the West’s cultural elites are concerned, that order died and was buried by 1945, along with that vision of what humans are, and the idea of nations as such.

And yet what’s replacing it is also, in a sense, dead. The old regime is denounced for being inadequately concerned with the suffering of victims – such as in Afua Hirsch’s call for Nelson’s Column to be pulled down, on the grounds that Nelson “was what you would now call, without hesitation, a white supremacist”. But when the time comes to fill those plinths with positive representations of its own sacred values, a new regime whose only sacred value is individual autonomy finds that representation runs the risk of excluding someone.

So any sculptor tempted to make something beautiful is on shaky ground. As the Nazis knew all too well, an idealised human form implies a hierarchy of values. This is dangerously exclusionary. Thus, inasmuch as heroic figurative works are still permitted, these are almost always what the sociologist Philip Rieff called “deathworks”: anti-monuments whose aim is principally not to uphold but negate sacred values. The prewar figurative register for public art still exists – but only in subjects that invert or negate a trope from the old order: Medusa holding the severed head of Perseus, for example, or a dreadlocked man in a hoodie astride a prancing horse.

In other words: it’s not that we no longer have skilled artists making beautiful, proportionate, figurative work. It’s just that, the class with its hands on the purse-strings doesn’t care. For what this class seeks to represent — the class that dominates media, NGOs, universities and the like — is its own form of power: one which I have elsewhere called swarmism.

Swarmism is power without a head, which is to say without accountability. It operates instead via “overlapping partnerships and networks”, as the foundation which funded The Embrace describes itself. And it is power without a heart: in place of fallible, capricious human feeling, including human mercy or relationships, it offers bureaucratic compassion via algorithmic taxonomies of “intersecting” victimhood.

For the swarmist vision of human flourishing has no shared meanings. Instead, all we really have in common is individual freedom, our technologies, and our physical bodies. And if this is true, and if it is also true that all hierarchies of values are exclusionary, there is nothing to aspire to beyond this life. There is nothing admirable about humans. The best we can aspire to is probably to re-engineer ourselves into something superior.

This bleak vision, combined with the most vigorous possible negation of Christian humanism, overlaid with anxious posturing about “marginalised groups”, forms the backbone of the swarmist aesthetic — and nothing could be more swarmist than the unaccountable committees who now commission public art. The Embrace, for example, was commissioned by a nonprofit (one swarm) with support from a foundation (another swarm). It is indeed fitting that Martin Luther King, a man fired by a Christian belief in universal human dignity, should have his legacy reworked for the headless, heartless, swarmist order, by representing his moment of triumph in an embrace without either a head, or a heart.

After close to a century of careful, antiseptic abstraction, then, the swarmist monumental style has arrived. It memorialises its moral taxonomies in deliberately beautiful deathworks, and deliberately ugly, posthuman artworks. In sculptural form, it produces something akin to a deification of nihilism, that alternates between feasting on the carcass of the previous regime and creating swarm-approved monuments to a posthuman future. It is a queasy mix of genuflection to any visual tradition save the Western one, combined with a Cylon-laboratory celebration of distorted, protean flesh.

We get the high culture we deserve. Our journey to this point didn’t begin with the two world wars, but rather completed its trajectory there. Now, after a mid-century intermezzo of abstraction, we appear to have accepted that the Christian age is over, as too is industrial one, and our period of mourning for its demise. And as the WEF’s grandees meet in Davos to discuss how best to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution that will transform us into cyborgs, the culture swarm has settled on a style of monumental art to suit. Welcome to the flesh factories.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

The Babylon Bee started a GoFundMe to raise money to add the heads and stuff.

Xaven Taner
Xaven Taner
1 year ago

Not another swarm!

Xaven Taner
Xaven Taner
1 year ago

Not another swarm!

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

The Babylon Bee started a GoFundMe to raise money to add the heads and stuff.

Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 year ago

Thanks. Great read.

I can’t actually recall the last time some modern architecture or art was unveiled that would even come close in my mind to being regarded as beautiful. This latest offering is no exception.

This and most other ‘works’ are not just ugly, but exhibit a sort of anti-beauty; a highjacking of aesthetics so overt one is left wondering whether their purpose is to deliberately provoke – that or to crush the spirits of those unfortunate enough to regularly endure their prescence. Or maybe it’s a tactic – unconscious or otherwise – to warp the public’s sensibilities right down to the primordal conception of beauty; a ghastly (and hopefully futile) quest for ultimate control down to subliminal thinking.

Or maybe its more simple. Maybe the artworld – and especially those with the power to decide what and what isn’t worthy of exhibition – are simply deviod of taste or otherwise more than happy to subordinate beauty to whatever political message that this new art represents so long, of course, it tallies with their own hideously lopsided view of the world.

Either way, I’m increasingly of the opinion that ‘progress’ – whether it be in art or in any number of fields is not progress in slightest, but a dark march backwards.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Jam
JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

I quite agree with you, and see this a lot in real estate/construction as well (my field). Some of the modern buildings are so ugly that they give the impression they were designed that way as a deliberate form of perversity. In addition, many are profoundly anti-human in a lot of respects; scale, balance etc.

There’s seems to more to it than just the profit motive — stuffing as many saleable units into this tower as possible, up to the max allowable height restrictions, that’s an expected approach for a developer — but some of these designs are so aggressively, startlingly ugly that it feels one must go quite out of the way to arrive at such a design.

In Victoria (in London, SW1) they put up the Nova building a few years back, which was crowned ugliest building in the UK. I assure you, it’s a deserving winner. Naturally many mod-ish types popped up to give comment in the Guardian etc explaining that actually it was a very good example of brutalism (almost as though the average man was too stupid to appreciate that this ugly thing was really very beautiful indeed, natch). Well, two points on that:
— Surely beauty should not be a riddle wrapped in an enigma, such that we have to tilt our heads sideways and read an accompanying explanatory note to actually see it?
— It may well be a decent example of the brutalist style. But did anyone ask the locals if they would like to be brutalised by the architecture?

It honestly makes me sad every time I go past it, especially since it’s dominating scale means it now overshadows a whole chunk of Victoria, and thousands of people now live/work/walk in the shadows of it’s grim form. To place such a monstrosity among the Regency/Victorian splendour displayed across SW1 is akin to architectural vandalism, in my view. Perverse and aggressive.

Last edited 1 year ago by JJ Barnett
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

This perversion is reflected in fashion as well; Muiccia Prada, who is a fabulous talent in many ways, has also pushed the idea of ‘ugly is beautiful’. It’s all to be provocative, high-minded etc. And of course many fashion designers have followed suit. When was the last time you walked down the street and thought people looked nice or well-dressed? Not for decades….we’d have to go back to Christian Dior in the 1950’s.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Very true. And a shame that Muiccia is also kind of eroding the legacy of her own family’s iconic fashion brand.
Miu Miu’s aesthetic is deliberately ill fitting and unfinished, which is quite at odds with Prada’s legacy ethos.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Very true. And a shame that Muiccia is also kind of eroding the legacy of her own family’s iconic fashion brand.
Miu Miu’s aesthetic is deliberately ill fitting and unfinished, which is quite at odds with Prada’s legacy ethos.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Have you ever toured around one of the former eastern block countries? Now there is architecture that is an order of magnitude or two worse than anything I’ve seen in the west (yet). One city in Croatia in particular has an astonishing range, from a spectacular Roman Coliseum all the way down to the most grotesque concrete block high rises.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago

Yes, I totally agree.

I find Berlin to be like that. You almost get whiplash from the juxtaposition of these magnificently ornate and artistic period buildings, punctuated by extremely oppressive Soviet-era housing blocks.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago

Yes, I totally agree.

I find Berlin to be like that. You almost get whiplash from the juxtaposition of these magnificently ornate and artistic period buildings, punctuated by extremely oppressive Soviet-era housing blocks.

Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Great post. I acutely feel your pain!

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Firstly, ‘The Nova’ has nothing to do with “Brutalism”- a specific architectural style of the ’50s and ’60s, involving raw materials (usually concrete) and the idea of ‘form following function’. The Nova features neither of these- it’s just contemporary slick corporate ‘architecture as icon’.
Secondly, the dreaded Guardian’s chief architecture critic wrote an article at the time of its unveiling titled “A bright, preening cockerel crowned Britain’s ugliest building”, saying that it “embodies the sort of overblown crystaline lumps in vogue on designers’ drawing boards a decade ago.” Nothing there tormenting your notional “average man”.
So, yes, I agree it’s certainly a dismal piece of architecture, but your attempt to put the standard unHerd culture-wars spin on it is lazy.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

John, the Guardian only took a pop at Nova after it was nominated for ugliest building, just so you know.
Also, not me that called it brutalist, that was the commentariat at the time this was all a buzz – about 5 years ago.
What do you mean by “your attempt to put the standard unHerd culture-wars spin on it”? …
Am I not free to make a comment about beauty in architecture, in reply to this article about beauty in art?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

By “the standard unHerd culture wars spin”, I mean taking a piece of bad commercial architecture, the product of multinational developers making as much money as quickly as possible in an under-regulated system of cheap, badly-designed London development, and somehow making it about the Guardian and some putative cultural oppression of the “average man” by a sneering ‘elite’.
As for the “commentariat” (and who the hell are they, exactly? I assume that must include you, as a commenter) calling it “brutalist”- if ‘they’ did, they were wrong, so why say it again? It’s the opposite of brutalist- slick, shiny, corporate, and designed to look smart on a marketing website.
Anyway, we agree that it’s awful.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

By “the standard unHerd culture wars spin”, I mean taking a piece of bad commercial architecture, the product of multinational developers making as much money as quickly as possible in an under-regulated system of cheap, badly-designed London development, and somehow making it about the Guardian and some putative cultural oppression of the “average man” by a sneering ‘elite’.
As for the “commentariat” (and who the hell are they, exactly? I assume that must include you, as a commenter) calling it “brutalist”- if ‘they’ did, they were wrong, so why say it again? It’s the opposite of brutalist- slick, shiny, corporate, and designed to look smart on a marketing website.
Anyway, we agree that it’s awful.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

John, the Guardian only took a pop at Nova after it was nominated for ugliest building, just so you know.
Also, not me that called it brutalist, that was the commentariat at the time this was all a buzz – about 5 years ago.
What do you mean by “your attempt to put the standard unHerd culture-wars spin on it”? …
Am I not free to make a comment about beauty in architecture, in reply to this article about beauty in art?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

This perversion is reflected in fashion as well; Muiccia Prada, who is a fabulous talent in many ways, has also pushed the idea of ‘ugly is beautiful’. It’s all to be provocative, high-minded etc. And of course many fashion designers have followed suit. When was the last time you walked down the street and thought people looked nice or well-dressed? Not for decades….we’d have to go back to Christian Dior in the 1950’s.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Have you ever toured around one of the former eastern block countries? Now there is architecture that is an order of magnitude or two worse than anything I’ve seen in the west (yet). One city in Croatia in particular has an astonishing range, from a spectacular Roman Coliseum all the way down to the most grotesque concrete block high rises.

Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Great post. I acutely feel your pain!

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Firstly, ‘The Nova’ has nothing to do with “Brutalism”- a specific architectural style of the ’50s and ’60s, involving raw materials (usually concrete) and the idea of ‘form following function’. The Nova features neither of these- it’s just contemporary slick corporate ‘architecture as icon’.
Secondly, the dreaded Guardian’s chief architecture critic wrote an article at the time of its unveiling titled “A bright, preening cockerel crowned Britain’s ugliest building”, saying that it “embodies the sort of overblown crystaline lumps in vogue on designers’ drawing boards a decade ago.” Nothing there tormenting your notional “average man”.
So, yes, I agree it’s certainly a dismal piece of architecture, but your attempt to put the standard unHerd culture-wars spin on it is lazy.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

In general I agree and was thus mightily surprised when the Prince brothers unveiled the statue to their mother, Diana, which was out and out figurative.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Yes it’s a truly awful statue. I would be furious about it.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Yes it’s a truly awful statue. I would be furious about it.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

They will be burning books next!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

but what about the carbon emission and effect on forests? !!!!!

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Did you know that it’s a statistical fact that there’s a direct correlation between the intelligence of a comment and the number of exclamation marks it contains?!!!!!!!!!

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

,,, inverse correlation …

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

,,, inverse correlation …

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Did you know that it’s a statistical fact that there’s a direct correlation between the intelligence of a comment and the number of exclamation marks it contains?!!!!!!!!!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

but what about the carbon emission and effect on forests? !!!!!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

To your point about ‘beauty’; It is eternal and art works which endure throughout time are those which remain in the public’s imagination and heart.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

I quite agree with you, and see this a lot in real estate/construction as well (my field). Some of the modern buildings are so ugly that they give the impression they were designed that way as a deliberate form of perversity. In addition, many are profoundly anti-human in a lot of respects; scale, balance etc.

There’s seems to more to it than just the profit motive — stuffing as many saleable units into this tower as possible, up to the max allowable height restrictions, that’s an expected approach for a developer — but some of these designs are so aggressively, startlingly ugly that it feels one must go quite out of the way to arrive at such a design.

In Victoria (in London, SW1) they put up the Nova building a few years back, which was crowned ugliest building in the UK. I assure you, it’s a deserving winner. Naturally many mod-ish types popped up to give comment in the Guardian etc explaining that actually it was a very good example of brutalism (almost as though the average man was too stupid to appreciate that this ugly thing was really very beautiful indeed, natch). Well, two points on that:
— Surely beauty should not be a riddle wrapped in an enigma, such that we have to tilt our heads sideways and read an accompanying explanatory note to actually see it?
— It may well be a decent example of the brutalist style. But did anyone ask the locals if they would like to be brutalised by the architecture?

It honestly makes me sad every time I go past it, especially since it’s dominating scale means it now overshadows a whole chunk of Victoria, and thousands of people now live/work/walk in the shadows of it’s grim form. To place such a monstrosity among the Regency/Victorian splendour displayed across SW1 is akin to architectural vandalism, in my view. Perverse and aggressive.

Last edited 1 year ago by JJ Barnett
Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

In general I agree and was thus mightily surprised when the Prince brothers unveiled the statue to their mother, Diana, which was out and out figurative.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

They will be burning books next!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

To your point about ‘beauty’; It is eternal and art works which endure throughout time are those which remain in the public’s imagination and heart.

Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 year ago

Thanks. Great read.

I can’t actually recall the last time some modern architecture or art was unveiled that would even come close in my mind to being regarded as beautiful. This latest offering is no exception.

This and most other ‘works’ are not just ugly, but exhibit a sort of anti-beauty; a highjacking of aesthetics so overt one is left wondering whether their purpose is to deliberately provoke – that or to crush the spirits of those unfortunate enough to regularly endure their prescence. Or maybe it’s a tactic – unconscious or otherwise – to warp the public’s sensibilities right down to the primordal conception of beauty; a ghastly (and hopefully futile) quest for ultimate control down to subliminal thinking.

Or maybe its more simple. Maybe the artworld – and especially those with the power to decide what and what isn’t worthy of exhibition – are simply deviod of taste or otherwise more than happy to subordinate beauty to whatever political message that this new art represents so long, of course, it tallies with their own hideously lopsided view of the world.

Either way, I’m increasingly of the opinion that ‘progress’ – whether it be in art or in any number of fields is not progress in slightest, but a dark march backwards.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Jam
Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago

Excellent essay: no surprise, of course. As Orwell said a long time ago, worthwhile art doesn’t derive from committees or the party line.

As an aside, does anyone (even at the Grauniad) take any of Afua Hirsch’s jeremiads in any way seriously? (I only ask because she was cited in the essay.)

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

She appears to be a very stupid & confused woman!

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Ah, but to whom? She is precisely what it is admired today. The more buffoonish and blindingly ignorant one is, the more they are admired in a society that “…offers bureaucratic compassion via algorithmic taxonomies of “intersecting” victimhood.”

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Still, 80 years ago people were being gassed to death in their millions, so things aren’t that bad, eh? It’s always handy to keep things in perspective.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I guess that makes everything that happens now alright then?

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I guess that makes everything that happens now alright then?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Still, 80 years ago people were being gassed to death in their millions, so things aren’t that bad, eh? It’s always handy to keep things in perspective.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Ah, but to whom? She is precisely what it is admired today. The more buffoonish and blindingly ignorant one is, the more they are admired in a society that “…offers bureaucratic compassion via algorithmic taxonomies of “intersecting” victimhood.”

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

She appears to be a very stupid & confused woman!

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago

Excellent essay: no surprise, of course. As Orwell said a long time ago, worthwhile art doesn’t derive from committees or the party line.

As an aside, does anyone (even at the Grauniad) take any of Afua Hirsch’s jeremiads in any way seriously? (I only ask because she was cited in the essay.)

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

Rather than “The Embrace”, the statue should be called “The Reach Around”.
Those who wish to see it removed can take heart from the fact that it won’t be long before MLK is cancelled by the Woko Haram cult and this statue is toppled anyway.
Dr King’s dream of a future where people are judged according to their character rather than the colour of their skin is directly contradicted by the current activist mentality, that insists that you are defined, as a person, solely by the groups to which you belong, and where that group sits on the ‘hierarchy of oppression’ org-chart. 
Such are the grisly identity politics of grievance – I guess they’ll get the monuments they deserve. Though Dr King and the genuine Civil Rights Movement deserved so much better.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Flipped upside down it looks like a giant pile of excrement.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

no doubt the sculptor used a stool whilst at work?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

no doubt the sculptor used a stool whilst at work?

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Yah no. He’s reached saint status here. That won’t happen, he wasn’t conservative. At most they will ignore him.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Flipped upside down it looks like a giant pile of excrement.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Yah no. He’s reached saint status here. That won’t happen, he wasn’t conservative. At most they will ignore him.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

Rather than “The Embrace”, the statue should be called “The Reach Around”.
Those who wish to see it removed can take heart from the fact that it won’t be long before MLK is cancelled by the Woko Haram cult and this statue is toppled anyway.
Dr King’s dream of a future where people are judged according to their character rather than the colour of their skin is directly contradicted by the current activist mentality, that insists that you are defined, as a person, solely by the groups to which you belong, and where that group sits on the ‘hierarchy of oppression’ org-chart. 
Such are the grisly identity politics of grievance – I guess they’ll get the monuments they deserve. Though Dr King and the genuine Civil Rights Movement deserved so much better.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Whilst another impressive dissection (no pun intended) by Mary, what i found most valuable was the link she provides at the end of the fourth paragraph to a previous article written about her experiences at Oxford and subsequently, and how they’ve shaped her ability to engage with the world in a way which moves us forward, but at the same time away from being “progressive”.

To anyone who’s not already familiar with it, i’d highly recommend it. It’ll certainly bring greater context to her pieces on Unherd.

As it happens “piece” is now the favoured term used in the art world for any type of created object, as if “painting” or “sculpture” were too oppressive a description. One might almost say, that it’s an attempt to break the old definitions into pieces, but with this sculpture the pieces are both anatomical and semiotic.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Thanks for that pointer. A fascinating read and insight into the woke mind. For the first time I’m inspired to pity rather than disgust.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Me too. It was a laborious, but quite illuminating read.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

You want laborious, try reading Derrida or Saussure.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

You want laborious, try reading Derrida or Saussure.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Me too. It was a laborious, but quite illuminating read.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“As it happens, “piece” is now the favoured term used in the art world”.
About seventy years ago, perhaps. And you must find the new-fangled term ‘a piece of music’- as in “Schubert wrote this piece shortly after moving to Zseliz”- terrifying in its Woke deconstructivism.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Thanks for that pointer. A fascinating read and insight into the woke mind. For the first time I’m inspired to pity rather than disgust.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“As it happens, “piece” is now the favoured term used in the art world”.
About seventy years ago, perhaps. And you must find the new-fangled term ‘a piece of music’- as in “Schubert wrote this piece shortly after moving to Zseliz”- terrifying in its Woke deconstructivism.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Whilst another impressive dissection (no pun intended) by Mary, what i found most valuable was the link she provides at the end of the fourth paragraph to a previous article written about her experiences at Oxford and subsequently, and how they’ve shaped her ability to engage with the world in a way which moves us forward, but at the same time away from being “progressive”.

To anyone who’s not already familiar with it, i’d highly recommend it. It’ll certainly bring greater context to her pieces on Unherd.

As it happens “piece” is now the favoured term used in the art world for any type of created object, as if “painting” or “sculpture” were too oppressive a description. One might almost say, that it’s an attempt to break the old definitions into pieces, but with this sculpture the pieces are both anatomical and semiotic.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Michael Friedman
Michael Friedman
1 year ago

Brilliant (as usual).

Michael Friedman
Michael Friedman
1 year ago

Brilliant (as usual).

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
1 year ago

Outstanding essay. Can’t recall a better expressed or more accurate summary of cultural developments since 1945. The bit about residues of the old order being treated as relics reminded me of what Kenneth Rexroth said about my mistress Simone Weil, when her worked started to receive increased attention in the late 50s: “a weird, embarrassing relic of a too immediate past.”
 
My one criticism is the essay seems a little pessimistic on Christianity. I dont see how ‘the most vigorous possible negation of Christian humanism’ is characteristic of the swarm as a whole. Even in closed doors labour party meetings, in my experience Christianity (& admittedly other religions) are invariably spoken of positively, considered pro-soical even by non believers. My suggestion for anyone feeling too bleak about our cultural trajectory is to divert their gaze from the worrying trends, to attend instead to the inspiring counter currents that suggest that while some may have giving up Christianity, Christ hasn’t given up on the world. His Light still shines through in all sorts of places. Christian artist youtubers Gio Pennacchietti & Jonathan Pageau might be inspiring to some, for example. And in person is often best, perhaps try a different church if your regular one isnt giving you a spiritual lift.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
1 year ago

Outstanding essay. Can’t recall a better expressed or more accurate summary of cultural developments since 1945. The bit about residues of the old order being treated as relics reminded me of what Kenneth Rexroth said about my mistress Simone Weil, when her worked started to receive increased attention in the late 50s: “a weird, embarrassing relic of a too immediate past.”
 
My one criticism is the essay seems a little pessimistic on Christianity. I dont see how ‘the most vigorous possible negation of Christian humanism’ is characteristic of the swarm as a whole. Even in closed doors labour party meetings, in my experience Christianity (& admittedly other religions) are invariably spoken of positively, considered pro-soical even by non believers. My suggestion for anyone feeling too bleak about our cultural trajectory is to divert their gaze from the worrying trends, to attend instead to the inspiring counter currents that suggest that while some may have giving up Christianity, Christ hasn’t given up on the world. His Light still shines through in all sorts of places. Christian artist youtubers Gio Pennacchietti & Jonathan Pageau might be inspiring to some, for example. And in person is often best, perhaps try a different church if your regular one isnt giving you a spiritual lift.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

A forlorn hope I know, but would it not be a lot healthier for everyone’s sanity instead, for the woke generations to grow up and embrace both the past and the future in it’s full technicolour, sinister splendor, eyes wide open? Come what may out of the past or into the future? For a start, it might afford them a degree of control over a future where they currently have none, because you cannot control what you wilfully don’t acknowledge.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

I’m genuinely confused here. “The Wokists” are constantly being accused of two, simultaneously exclusive, evils.
On the one hand, they are supposedly dismissing all of the cultural and political ‘heroes’ by looking too deeply into their putative flaws and contadictions- Churchill, for example, was a great war leader but also believed the “white races” were genetically superior- and on the other, they are accused of ignoring reality and complexity, of not having their “eyes wide open”, of hiding from the past in its “sinister splendor”.
So is the biography of Churchill to be seen with eyes wide open, in all its achievements and flaws, or is he to be unquestioningly gloried, as a comment below puts it, as one of the “idealised” “Heroes of Britain”?

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I cannot speak for others, but for myself, by “eyes wide open” I mean just that – there should be no circumstance under which you unquestionably glorify anyone, not Churchill, not Mother Teresa, not anyone. You accept and acknowledge the existence of the good, the bad, the ugly in everyone. You separate out the person and their beliefs (who might have been a neurotic mess, or a rabid racist, or anything) from their work and output. This also implies you extend a large degree of leeway to everyone on both speech and behaviour, so free speech and freedom of belief can flourish, and you don’t lose the talents of those you disagree with, because you have sent a whole host of people, who might have said something considered verboten, or even refused to participate in some religious ritual like ‘taking the knee’, to Coventry.

Churchill was all sorts, all overlaid over each other: a great spirit, a great bully, a great leader and someone who made multiple disastrous mistakes, a confector and manipulator of emotions and yet a victim of his own emotions, far-sighted yet very much a product of his time, an outright racist and yet a dewy-eyed internationalist, utterly ruthless autocrat and yet a believer in freedom and democracy. My point is: would Churchill been allowed to survive and thrive in the political climate of today, escaping the charges of hypocrisy and buffoonery, which destroyed for example Johnson, when Churchill changed not just beliefs but parties across a long career and had an unending string of minor indiscretions in all sorts of contexts? And if he had been cancelled, would that not have been a great, potentially even catastrophic, loss for this country?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

I’m not sure that comparing Churchill- whatever his many faults- with that vacuous, poinltess inanity Johnson is doing your argument any favours, but yes- I largely agree. And a good description of Churchill’s hugely complex personality.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

I’m not sure that comparing Churchill- whatever his many faults- with that vacuous, poinltess inanity Johnson is doing your argument any favours, but yes- I largely agree. And a good description of Churchill’s hugely complex personality.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I cannot speak for others, but for myself, by “eyes wide open” I mean just that – there should be no circumstance under which you unquestionably glorify anyone, not Churchill, not Mother Teresa, not anyone. You accept and acknowledge the existence of the good, the bad, the ugly in everyone. You separate out the person and their beliefs (who might have been a neurotic mess, or a rabid racist, or anything) from their work and output. This also implies you extend a large degree of leeway to everyone on both speech and behaviour, so free speech and freedom of belief can flourish, and you don’t lose the talents of those you disagree with, because you have sent a whole host of people, who might have said something considered verboten, or even refused to participate in some religious ritual like ‘taking the knee’, to Coventry.

Churchill was all sorts, all overlaid over each other: a great spirit, a great bully, a great leader and someone who made multiple disastrous mistakes, a confector and manipulator of emotions and yet a victim of his own emotions, far-sighted yet very much a product of his time, an outright racist and yet a dewy-eyed internationalist, utterly ruthless autocrat and yet a believer in freedom and democracy. My point is: would Churchill been allowed to survive and thrive in the political climate of today, escaping the charges of hypocrisy and buffoonery, which destroyed for example Johnson, when Churchill changed not just beliefs but parties across a long career and had an unending string of minor indiscretions in all sorts of contexts? And if he had been cancelled, would that not have been a great, potentially even catastrophic, loss for this country?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

I’m genuinely confused here. “The Wokists” are constantly being accused of two, simultaneously exclusive, evils.
On the one hand, they are supposedly dismissing all of the cultural and political ‘heroes’ by looking too deeply into their putative flaws and contadictions- Churchill, for example, was a great war leader but also believed the “white races” were genetically superior- and on the other, they are accused of ignoring reality and complexity, of not having their “eyes wide open”, of hiding from the past in its “sinister splendor”.
So is the biography of Churchill to be seen with eyes wide open, in all its achievements and flaws, or is he to be unquestioningly gloried, as a comment below puts it, as one of the “idealised” “Heroes of Britain”?

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

A forlorn hope I know, but would it not be a lot healthier for everyone’s sanity instead, for the woke generations to grow up and embrace both the past and the future in it’s full technicolour, sinister splendor, eyes wide open? Come what may out of the past or into the future? For a start, it might afford them a degree of control over a future where they currently have none, because you cannot control what you wilfully don’t acknowledge.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

“Swarm”. Yes, I like that.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

“Swarm”. Yes, I like that.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

If the Conservatives had a brain they would commission 100 “Heroes of Britain” figurative, idealised statues around the UK to celebrate the Coronation. Everyone from Boadicea to say, Francis Crick would get a statue (they shouldn’t go too modern or they will be accused of party bias). They should not let the art establishment anywhere near the project. The post-modernist elites will hate it but the public will like it and what can the elites do?

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

I think Francis Crick has been cancelled, I’m afraid.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Along with Hans JĂŒrgen Eysenck and too many others sadly.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Along with Hans JĂŒrgen Eysenck and too many others sadly.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

There’s a statue of Francis Crick in the quadrangle at Northampton’s Guildhall. He was born in Weston Favell, a village swallowed up by Northampton’s new town expansion in the 1970’s.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Benjamin Jones

How long before ‘the mob’ topple it, with complete impunity?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

The toppling of the MLK monstrosity couldn’t happen fast enough…

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

The toppling of the MLK monstrosity couldn’t happen fast enough…

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Benjamin Jones

How long before ‘the mob’ topple it, with complete impunity?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

That sounds wonderfully Soviet- Stalin would certainly have loved it, and Putin too, no doubt.
I’m not sure the modern British public would be quite as enthused by your exercise in state propaganda kitsch as you assume, though.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I’m not sure why patriotic statuary is Soviet. It was all the rage in Britain until the 1970s. I think people would love it. I remember in 2002 (before the rise of the woke mob) the BBC ran a 100 Greatest Britain’s competition and it was a great public success.
The top 10 were: Churchill, Brunel, Princess Di(!), Darwin, Shakespeare, Newton, Elizabeth I, John Lennon, Nelson, Cromwell.
In fact, take out the ones that are still alive (they were generally in their heyday when the poll ran like Robbie Williams) and you have a pretty decent list for your statues.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I’m not sure why patriotic statuary is Soviet. It was all the rage in Britain until the 1970s. I think people would love it. I remember in 2002 (before the rise of the woke mob) the BBC ran a 100 Greatest Britain’s competition and it was a great public success.
The top 10 were: Churchill, Brunel, Princess Di(!), Darwin, Shakespeare, Newton, Elizabeth I, John Lennon, Nelson, Cromwell.
In fact, take out the ones that are still alive (they were generally in their heyday when the poll ran like Robbie Williams) and you have a pretty decent list for your statues.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

I think Francis Crick has been cancelled, I’m afraid.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

There’s a statue of Francis Crick in the quadrangle at Northampton’s Guildhall. He was born in Weston Favell, a village swallowed up by Northampton’s new town expansion in the 1970’s.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

That sounds wonderfully Soviet- Stalin would certainly have loved it, and Putin too, no doubt.
I’m not sure the modern British public would be quite as enthused by your exercise in state propaganda kitsch as you assume, though.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

If the Conservatives had a brain they would commission 100 “Heroes of Britain” figurative, idealised statues around the UK to celebrate the Coronation. Everyone from Boadicea to say, Francis Crick would get a statue (they shouldn’t go too modern or they will be accused of party bias). They should not let the art establishment anywhere near the project. The post-modernist elites will hate it but the public will like it and what can the elites do?

Cheryl Benard
Cheryl Benard
1 year ago

The decision to commemorate him through a statue depicting a headless embrace with his wife is interesting in light of the fact that MLK’s love life was his Achilles heel, soon detected and duly exploited by the FBI. They even sent his wife sex tapes made by bugging his hotel rooms, and repeatedly tried to embroil him in scandal to discredit him. His staff was often occupied in covering up his affairs, including on the day of his assassination, when his playmate of the night before had to be discreetly whisked out of sight. The statue can be read as saying, his private life was a tangled mess – perhaps the FBI designed this statue? For more on this, see https://medium.com/lessons-from-history/love-life-of-martin-luther-king-jr-193f19db839. I do think that Coretta, for putting up with all that aggravation, deserved at least to have her face on that statue though.

Cheryl Benard
Cheryl Benard
1 year ago

The decision to commemorate him through a statue depicting a headless embrace with his wife is interesting in light of the fact that MLK’s love life was his Achilles heel, soon detected and duly exploited by the FBI. They even sent his wife sex tapes made by bugging his hotel rooms, and repeatedly tried to embroil him in scandal to discredit him. His staff was often occupied in covering up his affairs, including on the day of his assassination, when his playmate of the night before had to be discreetly whisked out of sight. The statue can be read as saying, his private life was a tangled mess – perhaps the FBI designed this statue? For more on this, see https://medium.com/lessons-from-history/love-life-of-martin-luther-king-jr-193f19db839. I do think that Coretta, for putting up with all that aggravation, deserved at least to have her face on that statue though.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Dr King was a good man who deserves better than this.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Dr King was a good man who deserves better than this.

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
1 year ago

My favorite social media comment on this lovely piece so far — “It’s twue! It’s twue!”
It’s as if the sculptor was charged specifically with combining the worst of abstraction and realism. Are we to remember the doctor only by the buttons on his sleeves?

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
1 year ago

My favorite social media comment on this lovely piece so far — “It’s twue! It’s twue!”
It’s as if the sculptor was charged specifically with combining the worst of abstraction and realism. Are we to remember the doctor only by the buttons on his sleeves?

David Telfer
David Telfer
1 year ago

Roger Scruton’s documentary on Art and Beauty available on YouTube is a wonderful exposition of why modern art is often so worthless.

David Telfer
David Telfer
1 year ago

Roger Scruton’s documentary on Art and Beauty available on YouTube is a wonderful exposition of why modern art is often so worthless.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Back in the 70s, the city of Hartford, Connecticut commissioned a sculpture for a little green plot in its downtown. They paid the “artist”, Carl Andre, $87,000 (quite a chunk of change fifty years ago). The sculpture was a bunch of large rocks lined up in rows on the grass. Naturally, people were as outraged at the waste of tax dollars as they were with the insult to their sensibilities, and the city tried to get out of paying the guy (they didn’t succeed). Funny thing, though: in 2015, construction workers spray painted the rocks, not realizing they were “art”. Maybe Boston’s graffiti taggers will do the same for the obscene King thingy.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Back in the 70s, the city of Hartford, Connecticut commissioned a sculpture for a little green plot in its downtown. They paid the “artist”, Carl Andre, $87,000 (quite a chunk of change fifty years ago). The sculpture was a bunch of large rocks lined up in rows on the grass. Naturally, people were as outraged at the waste of tax dollars as they were with the insult to their sensibilities, and the city tried to get out of paying the guy (they didn’t succeed). Funny thing, though: in 2015, construction workers spray painted the rocks, not realizing they were “art”. Maybe Boston’s graffiti taggers will do the same for the obscene King thingy.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

It’s ironic that the statue has MLK hugging his wife. MLK was a great leader but also a great ‘cheater’; Corretta deserved better from her Christian minister husband.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Seems to be a genetic flaw and nothing to do with Christianity. We are all sinners, indeed.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

is that the Mercedes MLK? Nice car…

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Seems to be a genetic flaw and nothing to do with Christianity. We are all sinners, indeed.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

is that the Mercedes MLK? Nice car…

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

It’s ironic that the statue has MLK hugging his wife. MLK was a great leader but also a great ‘cheater’; Corretta deserved better from her Christian minister husband.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
1 year ago

This divide is wonderfully illustrated by the two Mary statues unveiled in 2020 and 2022 respectively. Google Mary Wollstonecraft statue on Newington Green…really hideous with a tiny naked woman on top of a huge blob of metal. Or Mary Anning in Lyme Regis, a beautiful portrait with meticulous detail and wonderful face hands and intent, striding out, geological hammer in hand towards the Jurassic cliffs.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
1 year ago

This divide is wonderfully illustrated by the two Mary statues unveiled in 2020 and 2022 respectively. Google Mary Wollstonecraft statue on Newington Green…really hideous with a tiny naked woman on top of a huge blob of metal. Or Mary Anning in Lyme Regis, a beautiful portrait with meticulous detail and wonderful face hands and intent, striding out, geological hammer in hand towards the Jurassic cliffs.

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
1 year ago

Grƫtas Park is no doubt named after the soldier who turned Hannibal Lecter into a cannibal.

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
1 year ago

Grƫtas Park is no doubt named after the soldier who turned Hannibal Lecter into a cannibal.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

OK but I thought the people of Boston actually voted for that design. So it was chosen by the ‘herd’.

‘The process began six years ago with a national call for proposals. There were 126 submissions and five finalists. Embrace Boston did consult with the King family, but the people of Boston chose Thomas’ idea, casting their ballots at voting booths set up in post offices, libraries and city hall.’

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/martin-luther-king-jr-coretta-scott-king-monument-the-embrace-boston-common/

My mums an art nerd.
He did say he was nervous about not putting the heads on. He said it was emphasise the embrace, honestly I think the headless swarm thing is taking it way out of context.

Toby B
Toby B
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

“to emphasise the embrace”.

OK, but why even take this approach? This sculpture is supposed to honour MLK and his wife – both actual people. They weren’t just a pair of arms, were they?

This sculpture involves a weird dismembering of the human being. Instead of recognisable people, you have only limbs and strange shapes. Which is precisely what Mary is talking about.

Last edited 1 year ago by Toby B
B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Toby B

The normal people of Boston choose it. From a selection. I doubt the majority have ever heard swarmism. I certainly haven’t apart from here. Probably because they liked the design. Not on weird idealogical grounds of decapitating anything.
Probably on the grounds the artist describes:
‘It’s called “The Embrace,” and to design it, Hank Willis Thomas pored over hundreds of images of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife, Coretta Scott King. “There was an intimacy that I saw that wasn’t really highlighted often,” Thomas said. “Often when you do look closely at pictures, they’re holding each other’s hands.”
‘And so, rather than depicting whole figures, Thomas, along with architects from the MASS Design Group, decided to represent a specific moment of intimacy, depicting only their arms and hands
“I’m kind of scared, because representing the Kings without their faces is a bold move,” Thomas said. ‘
From original link.

Why shouldn’t the artist take the approach they want? He discusses why he left the heads off etc. Seems a reasonable arty farty explanation to me. If people didn’t like it they wouldn’t have voted for it.

This paragraph from the article: In other words: it’s not that we no longer have skilled artists making beautiful, proportionate, figurative work. It’s just that, the class with its hands on the purse-strings doesn’t care. For what this class seeks to represent — the class that dominates media, NGOs, universities and the like — is its own form of power: one which I have elsewhere called swarmism.
Is incorrect. Because people voted for it. It had nothing to do with purse strings.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

I live in Boston and I very much doubt that “the people” voted for it.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

Quite. We need context here. Firstly, what were the other options offered? Was there an option of ‘none if these designs’? How many people voted for each option? How widespread was the publicity for the vote? Was a there a threshold of total votes that had to be reached to ensure that at least some minimum percentage of the population had expressed a choice? It’s quite easy to see how any such ‘consultation’ merely becomes an exercise in self-selecting groups pushing through something that a great majority of people either don’t want or have no opinion.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alphonse Pfarti
Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
1 year ago

Just so. Not “rigged,” just “an exercise in self-selecting groups pushing through something that a great majority of people don’t want.”

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
1 year ago

Just so. Not “rigged,” just “an exercise in self-selecting groups pushing through something that a great majority of people don’t want.”

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

But they did. They set up a ballot in libraries, city hall etc. The article I provided clearly states that. It was chosen from over 100 entries whittled down to five. Mlk family was consulted. The people voted for it. Are you saying they rigged it? Lmao. When you got a source or some assertion for that that isn’t just your opinion, come back.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

You can say that the design was selected based on the criteria of the voting system. This is not the same as ‘the people voted for it’. I would imagine that a great many did not and many more did not even bother to vote. If you have any references for how many votes were cast for each option, that might give some insight. Also, were all eligible voters issued with voting forms, which they could then either use or discard, or was this based on individuals actively choosing to participate? This is not to imply that it was rigged, but setting up ballots boxes in public buildings does suggest that the voting cohort was self-selecting. It might also be that only people with a reason to visit the library or City Hall engaged with the process.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

Jesus that’s taking it a bit deep it wasn’t a general election. I literally cba, swallow the swarm idea if it suits you. I think it’s fair to say that from that article it sounds like people had a fair chance and a choice. It’s fairer to say that than it is to say evil swarm imposed it on everyone. My version is closer to reality. It sounds like a pretty standard community art project. That’s a pretty standard format for choosing stuff like that.
America is obsessed with rigged elections.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

You’re wasting your time on this one- it’s very important to realise that this (admittedly remarkably poor) sculpture represents everything abhorrent to decent humanity, and anything that gets in the way of this enjoyably hysterical group rant (facts, for example, or actually knowing anything at all about it) are unwelcome. The simple and banal fact that lots of people like bad art doesn’t whip up the necessary End Of Times paranoia so beloved by the denizens of the internet.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Certainly makes for entertaining sport. The stuff people are drawing out of it is crazy to me. I can’t really claim to be qualified to say if the sculpture is any good. But I think people are getting really carried away considering the process they went through to select it.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Certainly makes for entertaining sport. The stuff people are drawing out of it is crazy to me. I can’t really claim to be qualified to say if the sculpture is any good. But I think people are getting really carried away considering the process they went through to select it.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

You’re wasting your time on this one- it’s very important to realise that this (admittedly remarkably poor) sculpture represents everything abhorrent to decent humanity, and anything that gets in the way of this enjoyably hysterical group rant (facts, for example, or actually knowing anything at all about it) are unwelcome. The simple and banal fact that lots of people like bad art doesn’t whip up the necessary End Of Times paranoia so beloved by the denizens of the internet.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

Jesus that’s taking it a bit deep it wasn’t a general election. I literally cba, swallow the swarm idea if it suits you. I think it’s fair to say that from that article it sounds like people had a fair chance and a choice. It’s fairer to say that than it is to say evil swarm imposed it on everyone. My version is closer to reality. It sounds like a pretty standard community art project. That’s a pretty standard format for choosing stuff like that.
America is obsessed with rigged elections.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

You can say that the design was selected based on the criteria of the voting system. This is not the same as ‘the people voted for it’. I would imagine that a great many did not and many more did not even bother to vote. If you have any references for how many votes were cast for each option, that might give some insight. Also, were all eligible voters issued with voting forms, which they could then either use or discard, or was this based on individuals actively choosing to participate? This is not to imply that it was rigged, but setting up ballots boxes in public buildings does suggest that the voting cohort was self-selecting. It might also be that only people with a reason to visit the library or City Hall engaged with the process.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

Quite. We need context here. Firstly, what were the other options offered? Was there an option of ‘none if these designs’? How many people voted for each option? How widespread was the publicity for the vote? Was a there a threshold of total votes that had to be reached to ensure that at least some minimum percentage of the population had expressed a choice? It’s quite easy to see how any such ‘consultation’ merely becomes an exercise in self-selecting groups pushing through something that a great majority of people either don’t want or have no opinion.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alphonse Pfarti
B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

But they did. They set up a ballot in libraries, city hall etc. The article I provided clearly states that. It was chosen from over 100 entries whittled down to five. Mlk family was consulted. The people voted for it. Are you saying they rigged it? Lmao. When you got a source or some assertion for that that isn’t just your opinion, come back.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

For a moment Ms Emery I thought you were discussing Boston in Lincolnshire.

To my mind there is no finer artistic creation in either Boston Massachusetts or Boston Lincolnshire, than the magnificent tower of St Botolph’s Church, situated in the later.

Soaring to 81.31 metres*, and topped by an octagonal lantern, it was completed around 1520, and is simply without equal. Amusingly it is referred to as the Boston Stump in the vernacular!

(* 266’ 9” in ‘English’)

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

I haven’t heard of that Mr Stanhope I will look it up. Sounds rather spectacular.
I’m just shredding another (in my humble opinion) nonsense article. Procrastinating really, I’m on paperwork duty atm 🙂

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

You used to be allowed to climb to the top, but as always these days, wretched ‘health & safety’ now prevent this!

However there is always Lincoln which you can still ascend (summer only).

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

Now Lincoln I do know a little about, my mum actually visited it in the summer! She said it was well worth a trip.
Health and safety is a minefield these days.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

Now Lincoln I do know a little about, my mum actually visited it in the summer! She said it was well worth a trip.
Health and safety is a minefield these days.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

You used to be allowed to climb to the top, but as always these days, wretched ‘health & safety’ now prevent this!

However there is always Lincoln which you can still ascend (summer only).

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

I did look it up. It is spectacular, Wikibeast says it ‘was commonly believed’ the tower may have been lit at night? As a marker for travellers and boats? Amazing.

opop anax
opop anax
1 year ago

Be careful. It may attract Russian tourists if it truly does rival the magnificence of the spire of Salisbury Cathedral.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

I haven’t heard of that Mr Stanhope I will look it up. Sounds rather spectacular.
I’m just shredding another (in my humble opinion) nonsense article. Procrastinating really, I’m on paperwork duty atm 🙂

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

I did look it up. It is spectacular, Wikibeast says it ‘was commonly believed’ the tower may have been lit at night? As a marker for travellers and boats? Amazing.

opop anax
opop anax
1 year ago

Be careful. It may attract Russian tourists if it truly does rival the magnificence of the spire of Salisbury Cathedral.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

In a way what you are saying is even more discouraging. But seeing the kind of people that get elected to public office these days, is it surprising? It’s the same people voting.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

Why is it? Its being taken well out of context. This part of the article:

Dismembered limbs. Torture flashbacks. Screams. Humans pulled apart and reassembled. A chilling scene in the 2007 Battlestar Galactica sci-fi movie Razor depicts Commander Adama’s recollections of stumbling upon a laboratory where the flesh/robot hybrid Cylons conducted horrific experiments on living human beings
The Embrace, a new statue unveiled in Boston to honour Martin Luther King, brought exactly this to mind.

Is a well overblown comparison.
If you don’t like it that’s fine, it’s not really my cup of tea but to say it’s been imposed by a swarm and has all these other meanings about race etc attached to it is stretching it. That’s not what the artist said it was about, it was not imposed it was selected by what sounds like, a reasonably fair process.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

Why is it? Its being taken well out of context. This part of the article:

Dismembered limbs. Torture flashbacks. Screams. Humans pulled apart and reassembled. A chilling scene in the 2007 Battlestar Galactica sci-fi movie Razor depicts Commander Adama’s recollections of stumbling upon a laboratory where the flesh/robot hybrid Cylons conducted horrific experiments on living human beings
The Embrace, a new statue unveiled in Boston to honour Martin Luther King, brought exactly this to mind.

Is a well overblown comparison.
If you don’t like it that’s fine, it’s not really my cup of tea but to say it’s been imposed by a swarm and has all these other meanings about race etc attached to it is stretching it. That’s not what the artist said it was about, it was not imposed it was selected by what sounds like, a reasonably fair process.

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

I live in Boston and I very much doubt that “the people” voted for it.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

For a moment Ms Emery I thought you were discussing Boston in Lincolnshire.

To my mind there is no finer artistic creation in either Boston Massachusetts or Boston Lincolnshire, than the magnificent tower of St Botolph’s Church, situated in the later.

Soaring to 81.31 metres*, and topped by an octagonal lantern, it was completed around 1520, and is simply without equal. Amusingly it is referred to as the Boston Stump in the vernacular!

(* 266’ 9” in ‘English’)

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

In a way what you are saying is even more discouraging. But seeing the kind of people that get elected to public office these days, is it surprising? It’s the same people voting.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Toby B

The normal people of Boston choose it. From a selection. I doubt the majority have ever heard swarmism. I certainly haven’t apart from here. Probably because they liked the design. Not on weird idealogical grounds of decapitating anything.
Probably on the grounds the artist describes:
‘It’s called “The Embrace,” and to design it, Hank Willis Thomas pored over hundreds of images of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife, Coretta Scott King. “There was an intimacy that I saw that wasn’t really highlighted often,” Thomas said. “Often when you do look closely at pictures, they’re holding each other’s hands.”
‘And so, rather than depicting whole figures, Thomas, along with architects from the MASS Design Group, decided to represent a specific moment of intimacy, depicting only their arms and hands
“I’m kind of scared, because representing the Kings without their faces is a bold move,” Thomas said. ‘
From original link.

Why shouldn’t the artist take the approach they want? He discusses why he left the heads off etc. Seems a reasonable arty farty explanation to me. If people didn’t like it they wouldn’t have voted for it.

This paragraph from the article: In other words: it’s not that we no longer have skilled artists making beautiful, proportionate, figurative work. It’s just that, the class with its hands on the purse-strings doesn’t care. For what this class seeks to represent — the class that dominates media, NGOs, universities and the like — is its own form of power: one which I have elsewhere called swarmism.
Is incorrect. Because people voted for it. It had nothing to do with purse strings.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Overdetermined, perhaps, as the swarm’s center of gravity is somewhere near Boston!

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan B

Cor blimey do you believe in democracy or what? How much fairer can it be than allowing people to vote by ballot in a library, post office or city hall. I am exasperated. It is making me determined.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Fighting the good fight! I liked the article but I think you’re right. Well said.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Fighting the good fight! I liked the article but I think you’re right. Well said.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan B

Cor blimey do you believe in democracy or what? How much fairer can it be than allowing people to vote by ballot in a library, post office or city hall. I am exasperated. It is making me determined.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Thank you so much for clearing this up. This information really changes my perception of the statue and its aesthetic shortcomings.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Toby B
Toby B
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

“to emphasise the embrace”.

OK, but why even take this approach? This sculpture is supposed to honour MLK and his wife – both actual people. They weren’t just a pair of arms, were they?

This sculpture involves a weird dismembering of the human being. Instead of recognisable people, you have only limbs and strange shapes. Which is precisely what Mary is talking about.

Last edited 1 year ago by Toby B
Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Overdetermined, perhaps, as the swarm’s center of gravity is somewhere near Boston!

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Thank you so much for clearing this up. This information really changes my perception of the statue and its aesthetic shortcomings.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

OK but I thought the people of Boston actually voted for that design. So it was chosen by the ‘herd’.

‘The process began six years ago with a national call for proposals. There were 126 submissions and five finalists. Embrace Boston did consult with the King family, but the people of Boston chose Thomas’ idea, casting their ballots at voting booths set up in post offices, libraries and city hall.’

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/martin-luther-king-jr-coretta-scott-king-monument-the-embrace-boston-common/

My mums an art nerd.
He did say he was nervous about not putting the heads on. He said it was emphasise the embrace, honestly I think the headless swarm thing is taking it way out of context.

Kevin Cooney
Kevin Cooney
1 year ago

A quite brilliant piece, if both depressing and disturbing.

Kevin Cooney
Kevin Cooney
1 year ago

A quite brilliant piece, if both depressing and disturbing.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago

Nice to see the Battlestar Galactica reference. I always tell people its one of the best fracking tv shows ever made (the Ron Moore reboot). So say we all!

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago

Nice to see the Battlestar Galactica reference. I always tell people its one of the best fracking tv shows ever made (the Ron Moore reboot). So say we all!

Colin Goodfellow
Colin Goodfellow
1 year ago

A refreshing read. The conspiracy of individualism over collectivism or shared values ( read culture) is reducing so much art to grievence genuflecting and ego “deeply personal” uniquely empty work.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

“The conspiracy of individualism over collectivism…”
So you don’t agree with the author’s terror of this omnipotent “swarm”, then? Or is it an ‘individualistic swarm’? Is each person their own “swarm” now? How does this actually work?

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Apparently, according to a commenter above on my increasingly exasperated thread: ‘the swarms Centre of gravity is somewhere near Boston’. I did have to restrain my reply. I’m also intrigued how this business works.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

There’s something historically revolting about this “swarm” term- or ‘meme’, as it’s yet another manifestation of online Manichaeinism.
Enthusiastically throwing around de-humanising words that reduce the people you disagree with to the status of insect infestations doesn’t really fit with the self-proclaimed ‘humanism’ of the users.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Very good point, I hadn’t thought about that. I don’t think it’s helpful, or a good description of how any society really works. Like you say, reducing people you disagree with to insect type swarms repeatedly is hardly promoting humanism. Especially considering the article she’s just authored on the post. Apparently it’s bold new thinking. Or the oldest manichaeism trick in the book. Whichever people prefer.

Dale Morris
Dale Morris
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Well, well. I’ll go ahead and just insert this here as it seems as an appropriate place as any.
Firstly, it seems to me and my reading of this article that the “critic” cherishes “Christianity” and all its obsequious values. As if any artwork that doesn’t hold to her ideological, cultural construct of what “public art ‘ought to be'” is therefore not very good art if art at all.
Secondly, I almost, well I did, giggle at the term, “swarmist”. Along with her paranoid seeming rants on dismembered body parts. There is no actual “dis-member-ment” going on in the work. It is, to my artistic eye (an actual practicing visual arts professional) a bit on the clumsy side.
And, yes, it maintains the typical New York Art World’s intellectualistic flavor of the month. However all in all I found it a waste of my precious time to invest in reading it. Much ado about not much to say. As if, the whole of humankind ought to right itself to her tastes, political beliefs, philosophies (if she’s ever delved into Philosophy), aesthetics, sociological perspectives, etc..
Lots of pseudo-intellectual wordiness. Really from my point of view it’s just “anti-woke wokeness”. We’ve become so obsessed with language and how it does in fact shape our individual and collective perception of our “reality(s) that we are at odds (word wars) with each other on every little frigging thing about everything.
It could have been much easier to simply state the obivious and implied question, “What of their heads?” And further plainly further the artists dilemma vs the publics feelings of it.
Ahh, but swarmists must be outed and obliterated like some kind of dangerous enemy that threatens civilization!
It’s a f*****g sculpture! Not world war III. Blah, blah, blah.
“Art is long, and critics are the insects of a day.” — Randall Jarrell

peace & better luck next time.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Dale Morris

Excellent points. ‘Lots of pseudo-intellectual wordiness’ – brilliant. That’s what I’m short on.
Its just a f*cking sculpture – lol indeed.
I think clumsy is probably the best description so far for me.
Yep, bit more research next time, I think it was a poor example for ‘swarmism’.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Dale Morris

Absolutely- I like your term “anti-woke wokeness”; the two ‘sides’ in this relentlessly tedious ‘culture-war’ are actually remarkably similar, hence their mutual loathing.
This article displays exactly the kind of hysterically over-determined semiotics that the author accuses the ‘art-world elites’ of- a rather poor and clumsy sculpture is forced to carry the burden of every cultural and pseudo-philosophical beef she has with the modern world. It’s a pair of arms in an embrace, not done very well- really, get over yourself.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Sorry just have to say – cultural and pseudo-philosophical beef – that’s brilliant.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Sorry just have to say – cultural and pseudo-philosophical beef – that’s brilliant.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Dale Morris

Excellent points. ‘Lots of pseudo-intellectual wordiness’ – brilliant. That’s what I’m short on.
Its just a f*cking sculpture – lol indeed.
I think clumsy is probably the best description so far for me.
Yep, bit more research next time, I think it was a poor example for ‘swarmism’.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Dale Morris

Absolutely- I like your term “anti-woke wokeness”; the two ‘sides’ in this relentlessly tedious ‘culture-war’ are actually remarkably similar, hence their mutual loathing.
This article displays exactly the kind of hysterically over-determined semiotics that the author accuses the ‘art-world elites’ of- a rather poor and clumsy sculpture is forced to carry the burden of every cultural and pseudo-philosophical beef she has with the modern world. It’s a pair of arms in an embrace, not done very well- really, get over yourself.

Dale Morris
Dale Morris
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Well, well. I’ll go ahead and just insert this here as it seems as an appropriate place as any.
Firstly, it seems to me and my reading of this article that the “critic” cherishes “Christianity” and all its obsequious values. As if any artwork that doesn’t hold to her ideological, cultural construct of what “public art ‘ought to be'” is therefore not very good art if art at all.
Secondly, I almost, well I did, giggle at the term, “swarmist”. Along with her paranoid seeming rants on dismembered body parts. There is no actual “dis-member-ment” going on in the work. It is, to my artistic eye (an actual practicing visual arts professional) a bit on the clumsy side.
And, yes, it maintains the typical New York Art World’s intellectualistic flavor of the month. However all in all I found it a waste of my precious time to invest in reading it. Much ado about not much to say. As if, the whole of humankind ought to right itself to her tastes, political beliefs, philosophies (if she’s ever delved into Philosophy), aesthetics, sociological perspectives, etc..
Lots of pseudo-intellectual wordiness. Really from my point of view it’s just “anti-woke wokeness”. We’ve become so obsessed with language and how it does in fact shape our individual and collective perception of our “reality(s) that we are at odds (word wars) with each other on every little frigging thing about everything.
It could have been much easier to simply state the obivious and implied question, “What of their heads?” And further plainly further the artists dilemma vs the publics feelings of it.
Ahh, but swarmists must be outed and obliterated like some kind of dangerous enemy that threatens civilization!
It’s a f*****g sculpture! Not world war III. Blah, blah, blah.
“Art is long, and critics are the insects of a day.” — Randall Jarrell

peace & better luck next time.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Very good point, I hadn’t thought about that. I don’t think it’s helpful, or a good description of how any society really works. Like you say, reducing people you disagree with to insect type swarms repeatedly is hardly promoting humanism. Especially considering the article she’s just authored on the post. Apparently it’s bold new thinking. Or the oldest manichaeism trick in the book. Whichever people prefer.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

There’s something historically revolting about this “swarm” term- or ‘meme’, as it’s yet another manifestation of online Manichaeinism.
Enthusiastically throwing around de-humanising words that reduce the people you disagree with to the status of insect infestations doesn’t really fit with the self-proclaimed ‘humanism’ of the users.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Apparently, according to a commenter above on my increasingly exasperated thread: ‘the swarms Centre of gravity is somewhere near Boston’. I did have to restrain my reply. I’m also intrigued how this business works.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

“The conspiracy of individualism over collectivism…”
So you don’t agree with the author’s terror of this omnipotent “swarm”, then? Or is it an ‘individualistic swarm’? Is each person their own “swarm” now? How does this actually work?

Colin Goodfellow
Colin Goodfellow
1 year ago

A refreshing read. The conspiracy of individualism over collectivism or shared values ( read culture) is reducing so much art to grievence genuflecting and ego “deeply personal” uniquely empty work.

William Brand
William Brand
1 year ago

Decadence in bronze for the end times.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  William Brand

You make it sound rather exciting- it doesn’t look that good to me.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  William Brand

You make it sound rather exciting- it doesn’t look that good to me.

William Brand
William Brand
1 year ago

Decadence in bronze for the end times.

Valerie Taplin
Valerie Taplin
1 year ago

Hideous, and an insult to all concerned.

Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
1 year ago
Reply to  Valerie Taplin

Really? It’s only your opinion… I find it moving. If you understand French:” les goĂ»ts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas”.

Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
1 year ago
Reply to  Valerie Taplin

Really? It’s only your opinion… I find it moving. If you understand French:” les goĂ»ts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas”.

Valerie Taplin
Valerie Taplin
1 year ago

Hideous, and an insult to all concerned.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

In the times in which we live, the only possible monument, even for King, is a twisted mess.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

You think the times in which King was having to fight for basic civil rights for black Americans were so much better, then? They may have suffered segregation and lynchings, but, hey, at least the statues were more realistic.
The fact is, King was repeatedly denounced as a Marxist trouble-maker, and he was regarded as a threat to American values by 2/3rds of Americans in 1966; even in 1983, 22 Republican Senators tried to block a national commemoration of him stating that his values were “not compatible with the values of this country”. By the time he was shot by a white supremacist, 3/4 of white Americans still “disapproved” of him, and nearly 1/3 believed he had “brought his death on himself”.
The fake, sentimental affectation of approval afforded in retrospect to King now by conservatives is frankly slightly nauseating.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

All I meant is that we’re not terribly good at monuments these days.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

All I meant is that we’re not terribly good at monuments these days.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

You think the times in which King was having to fight for basic civil rights for black Americans were so much better, then? They may have suffered segregation and lynchings, but, hey, at least the statues were more realistic.
The fact is, King was repeatedly denounced as a Marxist trouble-maker, and he was regarded as a threat to American values by 2/3rds of Americans in 1966; even in 1983, 22 Republican Senators tried to block a national commemoration of him stating that his values were “not compatible with the values of this country”. By the time he was shot by a white supremacist, 3/4 of white Americans still “disapproved” of him, and nearly 1/3 believed he had “brought his death on himself”.
The fake, sentimental affectation of approval afforded in retrospect to King now by conservatives is frankly slightly nauseating.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

In the times in which we live, the only possible monument, even for King, is a twisted mess.

Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
1 year ago

Art is been in the toilet for quite some time.What came after wwii was mostly navel gazing. Horrid art and even more Horrid architecture. So swarmism isn’t replacing anything beautiful, it just the same prison dinner but this time from a different caterer. What great art had, was the ability to touch everybody. I can’t appreciate Bach in all its glory because I’m ignorant when it comes to music but I can be touch by its beauty nonetheless. You hear a monstrosity composed by John Cage and you need a doctorate in high pomposity to appreciate it

Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
1 year ago

Art is been in the toilet for quite some time.What came after wwii was mostly navel gazing. Horrid art and even more Horrid architecture. So swarmism isn’t replacing anything beautiful, it just the same prison dinner but this time from a different caterer. What great art had, was the ability to touch everybody. I can’t appreciate Bach in all its glory because I’m ignorant when it comes to music but I can be touch by its beauty nonetheless. You hear a monstrosity composed by John Cage and you need a doctorate in high pomposity to appreciate it

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Incorrect post.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Incorrect post.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Call me a philistine, but I cannot ever recall being kept awake at night worrying about the quality of sculpture and sculptors….

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Oh.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Oh.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Call me a philistine, but I cannot ever recall being kept awake at night worrying about the quality of sculpture and sculptors….

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
1 year ago

Thnks … Great read ! I only had to read the first Pgph & 1-2/20 or so underlined references …. Derrida …. flesh …. swarm …. p***s …. love …. Christian …. I know exactly what you mean !

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
1 year ago

Thnks … Great read ! I only had to read the first Pgph & 1-2/20 or so underlined references …. Derrida …. flesh …. swarm …. p***s …. love …. Christian …. I know exactly what you mean !