November 27, 2009

"You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

Said William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

He was not talking about that sculpture in the Empire State Plaza in Albany, which I encountered up close.


My point of view:



ricpic said...

Another brutalist assault on schmucks like me.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blake said...

Heh, Theo. Reminds me of a parable I wrote once for a writing exercise. (O rather a fable with parables in it.) It ended with "Well, why didn't you just say so!"

Zen koans get more respect, I tells ya.

rcocean said...

We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!

The gentleman from Wisconsin has said he fears a Robespierre. My friend, in this land of the free you need fear no tyrant who will spring up from among the people. What we need is an Andrew Jackson to stand as Jackson stood, against the encroachments of aggregated wealth.

They tell us that this platform was made to catch votes. We reply to them that changing conditions make new issues; that the principles upon which rest Democracy are as everlasting as the hills; but that they must be applied to new conditions as they arise. Conditions have arisen and we are attempting to meet those conditions.

They tell us that the income tax ought not to be brought in here; that is not a new idea. They criticize us for our criticism of the Supreme Court of the United States. My friends, we have made no criticism. We have simply called attention to what you know. If you want criticisms, read the dissenting opinions of the Court. That will give you criticisms.

They say we passed an unconstitutional law. I deny it. The income tax was not unconstitutional when it was passed. It was not unconstitutional when it went before the Supreme Court for the first time. It did not become unconstitutional until one judge changed his mind; and we cannot be expected to know when a judge will change his mind.

The income tax is a just law. It simply intends to put the burdens of government justly upon the backs of the people. I am in favor of an income tax. When I find a man who is not willing to pay his share of the burden of the government which protects him, I find a man who is unworthy to enjoy the blessings of a government like ours.

Rialby said...

Within 3 or 4 blog posts, you managed to fully illustrate the demise of art.

Kirby Olson said...

In the NY State history Museum, which is about a stone's throw away from your gold statue, is a very odd juxtaposition of a Donald Judd sculpture and a smashed fire truck from 9/11.

BJM said...

Ugh...reminds me of the hideous moderne architecture inflicted on Turin and Milan by Benito Mussolini and the Italian post-war modernists.

Although the Milan train station is pretty cool one can not forgive the communications tower looming over Piazzo Castello.

Bissage said...

(1) It is in no way my intention to denigrate that sculpture by noting that it appears to have been extruded from some enormous Play-Doh Fun Factory.

(2) The fun never stops with the fun factory.

Put in the Play-Doh. Watch it disappear.

Press on the handle. It comes out here.

Squeeze out shapes from one to ten.

Make what you want then squish it again.

(3) The foregoing is, of course, that natural and probable consequence of watching far too much Saturday morning television. Those brain cells have been hijacked and now they are gone forever. Kids, just say no!

Ralph L said...

Why didn't they just erect a 20 foot golden dick?

Jason (the commenter) said...

How embarrassing. It's one of those art pieces which obviously exists only because it was cheap to make and takes up a lot of space.

Jason (the commenter) said...

It's a giant cubist penis, just in case anyone was wondering.

blake said...


Henry said...

Did you go into the concourse? The sculptures above, despite their ungainly size, are belittled by the immensity of that citizen-less plaza. But the modern art on exhibit in the concourse below is really stunning. It's one of the great, free, public art collections in the country. The concourse is the one place where the Empire State Plaza architecture sheds its sterility and achieves a kind of 2001: A Space Oddysey funkiness. I think the huge abstract and color field paintings down there are what make it happen.

former law student said...

The sculpture is in the shape of a giant plus sign, as bissage alluded to. Slice it where you will -- it bears tribute to the new god of mathematics and thus science.

Jason (the commenter) said...

former law student: The sculpture is in the shape of a giant plus sign, as bissage alluded to. Slice it where you will -- it bears tribute to the new god of mathematics and thus science.

Seen from an airplane, it highlights where the pilot should drop the bombs.

PatCA said...

Now we are being crucified on a cross of worthless paper.