October 3, 2017

"Activists are working to bring a steel sculpture of a 45-foot-tall nude woman to Washington, where she will temporarily face the White House from a perch on the National Mall."

"Transporting the sculpture from its home in San Francisco will be an undertaking, but its artist, Marco Cochrane, said he saw it as an opportunity to start a conversation about violence against women. His creation, called R-Evolution, depicts a short-haired, nude woman standing in mountain pose — a yoga posture chosen by the sculpture’s model, the singer and songwriter Deja Solis."

So... a man is starting a conversation about violence against women and relying on 2 concepts: 1. Gigantic erection and 2. Female nudity.

The NYT not only has an entire article about this guy, but it also says he needs $90,000 to move the thing to Washington and links to his crowdfunding page!

But of course, this would require a permit, and the man does not have a permit yet. Why would the government approve a bad 45-foot-tall sculpture on the National Mall facing the White House? For 4 months! Or is the idea to infuse the forthcoming denial of a permit with political meaning and set up a viewpoint discrimination argument?

Cochrane's collaborator Julia Whitelaw calls attention to President Trump's supposedly negative attitude toward women: “We are hoping that he will see this sculpture and come experience her and change his perspective.”

Yes, looking at sculptures that are nothing more than the figure of a nude woman has great potential for people to change attitudes about women.

Cochrane says: “For her to be able to just stand there and express nothing, just to be present in the moment, is a really powerful statement.”

Yes, the silent women, just standing there, as constructed by a man.  He makes the sculpture and he talks about it, touting the meaning. She expresses nothing, and that's what he likes, a woman present and saying nothing. What an immense challenge to the imagined mindset of President Trump.

I'm a woman, and, as you may know, I am a great proponent of nothing. I made up the saying: Better than nothing is a high standard. In that view, it would be better to have nothing on the National Mall than a bad 45-foot sculpture of a nude woman.

102 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

That...looks taller than 45 feet.

Bay Area Guy said...

Why are these people objectifying women? Sexists!

TreeJoe said...

.....so he's crowdfunding in advance of actually being allowed to locate the sculpture on the mall?

That sounds totally legit.

Bob Ellison said...

Maybe 45 feet. The feet on the bottom look way bigger. It's a difficult thing to estimate. I would probably use a 9-iron.

Bob Ellison said...

If you build a huge statue like that, would you make the bottom (the feet) larger, or smaller, than the top, so as to induce perspective from pedestrian viewers? Or would you make it all to scale, so as to make the areal view better?

I'd go with big head, small feet.

rehajm said...

A lucrative money gathering concept capitalizing on people's fear and desperation. They should call the statue Jill Stein.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe he conceived of the whole "silent woman" thing when he thought WJC was going to be prowling the West Wing for new talent.

Ralph L said...

Fake boobs and man hands.
The structure is kinda neat though.
Will it rust to become a woman of color?

Bob Boyd said...

Seems like a natural progression as our national wankfest builds to a crescendo.

Kate said...

Oh my freaking gawd. rofl. Thanks for creating a giant up-skirt opportunity.

Please, male artist, don't help teh wimminz. Really.

Still laughing. Only a leftie man could think this respectful. Here's my VAGINA (which is pixelated away).

lolololol...

Laslo Spatula said...

"So... a man is starting a conversation about violence against women and relying on 2 concepts: 1. Gigantic erection and 2. Female nudity."

To be fair, those ARE two pretty good concepts.

I am Laslo.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

violence against women.
Will be dedicated to William J Clinton?

Ann Althouse said...

"That...looks taller than 45 feet."

It has the same name, but it must be a different version of the sculpture. I also doubt that what you see in the video is steel. I'm thinking wood (and intended for burning).

I'm concerned about things like that falling over and hurting somebody.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you build a huge statue like that, would you make the bottom (the feet) larger, or smaller, than the top, so as to induce perspective from pedestrian viewers? Or would you make it all to scale, so as to make the areal view better?"

You might make it to scale to give the impression of height from the perspective of someone on the ground. You could even make the head smaller to exaggerate the illusion of height from that perspective.

Ann Althouse said...

"To be fair, those ARE two pretty good concepts."

Yes, but they have little potential to spark conversation channeled into the subject of taking the problem of violence against women seriously. The artist's patter is bullshit.

Laslo Spatula said...

""If you build a huge statue like that, would you make the bottom (the feet) larger, or smaller, than the top, so as to induce perspective from pedestrian viewers? "

From Wiki...

Forced perspective is a technique which employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. It manipulates human visual perception through the use of scaled objects and the correlation between them and the vantage point of the spectator or camera. It has applications in photography, filmmaking and architecture...

The Statue of Liberty is built with a slight forced perspective so that it appears more correctly proportioned when viewed from its base. When the statue was designed in the late 19th century (before easy air flight), there were few other angles from which to view the statue. This caused a difficulty for special effects technicians working on the movie Ghostbusters II, who had to back off on the amount of forced perspective used when replicating the statue for the movie so that their model (which was photographed head-on) would not look top-heavy.[4] This effect can also be seen in Michelangelo's statue of David.

I am Laslo.

bagoh20 said...

Trump would laugh and say: "She's yuuuuuuge!. Lets make her even bigger."

Lefties don't understand much about Trump, his supporters, or women.

tim in vermont said...

Words are violence and violence is speech. That's our lesson from the prog left.

Did Trump ever say anything about not having consent? What really pissed people off is that he was talking about female hypergamy, which is so verboten that everybody blotted it out of the whole episode.

Maybe she is beckoning the powerful, wealthy man to come grab her pussy?

rcocean said...

God I hate that dishonest Phrase "activists".

What that means is "Leftist".

rcocean said...

Why would a huge woman -with big feet - make people think about "violence against women"? Its like attacking Trump by bending your knee to him.



bagoh20 said...

It takes a leftist to imagine that "starting a conversation" is a major accomplishment. What they mean when they say it is to create some propaganda and roll around in it like a big pile of leaves. Happy Autumn, fellow hillbillies.

rhhardin said...

She needs a pussy hat.

gspencer said...

Start a conversation?

Oh puh-leeze!

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), Pub.L. 103–322.

Nothing more than yet another slap at DJT.

Michael K said...

San Francisco has big women. I remember Carol Doda. Now she was "big."

Cheryl said...

I love that saying of yours. I said it to someone the other day. It got the "confused dog" look--slightly frowning eyebrows, head cocked to one side.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

So what are the ethics of crowdfunding? If you don't follow through with your stated goal do you give the contributions back? It seems odd that the Internet would provide a mechanism by which to scam gulli....oh, wait...never mind.

walter said...

Hey now..
I love these "conversations"...like I love watching hot young female topless protesters. Boobs never let you down.

holdfast said...

If she's hot looking, Trump will approve the permit.

bagoh20 said...

I'd hit that.

Sam's Hideout said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Why do people who want to tear down some statues, usually of individuals who very much have identities and names, then want to build nameless statues? I find Fearless Girl a bit creepy: why not a woman who's done well on Wall Street? Why not Christie Hefner hah hah hah.
Now the mall in Washington. How about contextualizing, instead of just smearing Trump? I guess Dems would like Anita Hill, Reps possibly Monica Lewinsky. Or Paula Jones, whose lawsuit eventually triggered the whole Monica thing. Or have these women already suffered enough from publicity? Maybe Hattie Wyatt Caraway, the first woman elected in her own right to the U.S. Senate? (I'm not sure there's a statue of her anywhere).
Maybe women are over the whole "leader" thing, and think entirely in terms of groups. Or maybe it's dawning on them that many famous women, like many famous men, have skeletons in their closets, embarrassing views on eugenics and cultural genocide, etc. Caraway voted against an anti-lynching bill.

Sam's Hideout said...

According to these posts, this is the third in a series, all of the same woman in different poses, constructed from welded steel rods and balls and covered with stainless steel mesh, also lined with thousands of LEDs. They were all first exhibited at Burning Man. From the photos it appears there are in scale from head to toe.

rhhardin said...

How come woman statues never have labia, even today. Barbie crotch is the standard.

You'd think that representation would make women sad, at least women with labia.

rhhardin said...

A Robert E Lee plaque would get it removed.

rhhardin said...

As a guy, statues of men with no junk would be slightly offputting.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I mean, I'm with you in spirit Professor, but your seeming offense that this women-centric project was done (conceived, even) by a man is maybe a bit much.
It'd be just as dumb if the artist was a woman, wouldn't it?
You wouldn't argue that only women should make art of this type, would you? If so I'm sure you object (for the same reason) to all the terrible art created by women that addresses "toxic masculinity" or whatever other man-centered ideas they bravely take on, right?

My objection to that attitude is that it's never symmetrically applied. One hears "you wouldn't understand, men don't get what it's like to be a woman/from a woman's perspective" all the time, plus it's fine to start any number of sentences with "as a woman..." but the inverse is never true--and in fact one will likely be accused of either mansplaining or of being condescendingly sexist were the attempt even made.

As a man I feel like your implicit assertion (that a man making women's issue-centric art is somehow improper) to be wrong and phony--I don't believe you actually believe that.

Also: the NYTimes linking to the crowdfunding site for this sure seems fishy. I have to imagine there are Standards around that kind of commercial involvement--it'd be interesting to see what kind of treatment the NYT has given or will give to other crowdfunding projects.

rhhardin said...

Ann is noticing who's putting the project forth and wondering what for.

A cynicism that ought to be applied more widely to other things, like mass shooting report orgies.

tcrosse said...

What better way to peddle his art than to pitch it as a thumb in Trump's eye ?

rhhardin said...

Modern media are great except the mobs they organize aren't very suspicious of the organization.

If you read a newspaper story, always notice the newspaper. That was the rule long ago. Just update it for the times.

Caligula said...

"Why would the government approve a bad 45-foot-tall sculpture on the National Mall facing the White House? For 4 months!"

Trump. Trump's very existence is perceived as violence against women. (And minorities. And America. etc., etc.)

It's not that good political art is impossible (e.g., Guernica), it's just tbat about 99.99% of it is so bad as to be beyond parody.

chickelit said...

rhhardin: Barbie crotch is the standard.

Nothing to grab onto.

On the other hand, she has Trump-approved curves as defined by Pussy Riot.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The artist's patter is bullshit.

Patter is the exactly correct word. Words meant to con the gullible out of their money. Words spouted by carnival barkers and guys standing outside of bars on Bourbon Street.

buwaya said...

Its as if naked women as artistic subjects were something new.

If someone stuck a naked woman statue in any US university today I wonder what the result would be. At a guess, it would be taken as a hostile act.

Roy Jacobsen said...

If they want to have a "conversation" about violence against women, they should put it up outside a pro football stadium.

Jon said...

Wouldn't it have been better to use Dejah Thoris as the model for such a statue?

mockturtle said...

So... a man is starting a conversation about violence against women and relying on 2 concepts: 1. Gigantic erection and 2. Female nudity.

Nicely done.

Nancy said...

I keep reading Deja Solis as Dejah Thoris (the beauteous Martian love of John Carter).

tim in vermont said...

Boobs never let you down.

Spoken like someone who has never seen the lesbian bikers at the Sydney Mardi Gras parade.

Roy Jacobsen said...

God save us from people who want to "start a conversation," which usually involves them lecturing us about how we're wrong.

tim in vermont said...

Trump should approve it, write the guy a check, and shake his hand when it's set up. Tweet a picture and say "It's yuuge!"

Assrat said...

> I find Fearless Girl a bit creepy: why not a woman who's done well on Wall Street?

Sends the wrong message. Fearless Girl means "women are bad for the economy." I don't get why the artist would want to send that message, but there you go. A woman who did well on Wall Street wouldn't want to slow down a bull market.l

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Fearless Girl" can handle the Merrill Lynch bull, but you need a Giant Nude Woman to face off against Trump.

mockturtle said...

"Fearless Girl" can handle the Merrill Lynch bull, but you need a Giant Nude Woman to face off against Trump.

Nice, exiled! :-)

But can you imagine the outrage if Trump had suggested this?

Quaestor said...

I'm a woman, and, as you may know, I am a great proponent of nothing.

Oh, Ann, Ann, Ann... Is nothing sacred?

Ralph L said...

So the steel rods and balls (welded together) aren't stainless, but the enclosing mesh is?
Does that make it pro- or anti- male?

walter said...

Blogger rhhardin said...How come woman statues never have labia, even today. Barbie crotch is the standard.
--
Free the labia!


tim in vermont said...Spoken like someone who has never seen the lesbian bikers at the Sydney Mardi Gras parade.
--
True..and thankfully so. I should have included a few more adjectives. There is a gravity to the situation that needs to be considered.

So..will tourists (or Trump) be able to do with this statue those fun perspective trick pics?

Tari said...

I think an ugly woman standing and staring at you without talking is known to men like Trump as "my first wife". I don't think that's going to cause him to think he's done anything wrong.

Quaestor said...

We must get you an ecclesiastical title, something long the lines of Ann, Prioress of Nothingburg. Or would you prefer soemthing more exaulted? Something with a mitre, perhaps? Or is ordination of women too much of a something?

Well, something with a big N-shaped censer with nothing in it in honor of anosmia.

Richard said...

It reminds me of this movie.

Quaestor said...

"Fearless Girl" can handle the Merrill Lynch bull...

For that frozen moment . At t1 she's trampled into the pavement. The title is wrong. Should be "Foolish Girl". Bulls are truculent, to say the least.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I don't think that's going to cause him to think he's done anything wrong.

It's easy to ignore people preaching at you.

R.J. Chatt said...

Most women don't actually look like that sculpture, only the ones who are born with the right genes, who maintain the right diet and work out regimes. So how does an idealized version of a woman, who doesn't do or mean anything and is just standing there full frontal nude on display for us as an object, actually help real women? What does Lena Dunham have to say? I'm surprised she's not opposing this as body shaming.

Actually Trump is married to a woman with that perfect body type, so he sure doesn't need some metal sculpture.

Humperdink said...

Other than the height at 45', I did not see any other dimensions. It appears to me it will have to be dismantled to ship. Anything over 14' (width or height) presents a large challenge (bridges, overpassses etc), especially across country.

tcrosse said...

I'm a woman, and, as you may know, I am a great proponent of nothing.

A philosophy created ex nihilo.

Matthew Sablan said...

".....so he's crowdfunding in advance of actually being allowed to locate the sculpture on the mall?"

-- And if the permit is denied, payday!

SayAahh said...

It needs a fish and a bicycle.

walter said...

I heard it was already approved..no?

"a great proponent of nothing."
Kinda Seinfeldian

Humperdink said...

"I heard it was already approved..no?"

I can't imagine. Every state has to approve it's path to DC. And that path changes depending on road construction etc.

Humperdink said...

Or maybe you are only talking about it's erection permit?

walter said...

Ah..I was referring the err..erection of it.

Seeing Red said...

So this is the third in the series. Since most people never heard of him or it, he's gotta up the ante.

It should be put next to the Washinton Monument.

Let them have a field day with symbols.

Better yet, perch her on the Washington Monument.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I quite like the sculpture, mainly for the engineering. As a depiction of the female form it is rather conventional. What I deplore is the requirement that all art have a political message. I prefer art for art's sake.

Seeing Red said...

She needs a mattress, too!

YoungHegelian said...

Oh, little matchmaker me! I've got a great idea!

After the statue stands there for a while, we can all have a big, big, blowout of wedding on the mall when Ms R-Evolution marries this Big Guy.

Bay Area Guy said...

The Left are so fucking stupid, it defies logic. Suggest a placard be hung: "Robert E. Lee's Wife" - then a different faction of moronic leftists will tear down this statue.

YoungHegelian said...

How can you call something R-Evolution after Devo?

Are we not men?

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jupiter said...

"In that view, it would be better to have nothing on the National Mall than a bad 45-foot sculpture of a nude woman."

Why "bad"? She looks a lot better than most of the women in those fashion shows you are so fond of.

mockturtle said...

It reminds me of this movie.

Me, too, Richard! One of my favorite B-grade sci-fi movies. Hilarious.

Jupiter said...

I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.

Darrell said...

Trump can claim that statue as Melania anytime.

buwaya said...

"The Left are so fucking stupid, it defies logic. Suggest a placard be hung: "Robert E. Lee's Wife" - then a different faction of moronic leftists will tear down this statue."

Stick it somewhere on the UC Berkeley campus, no placard needed, it will get mobbed and torn down. It will be said to offend in every way possible.

Anonymous said...

Wish people would quit blurring the boundaries between politics and art. Trying to force people to think a certain way - which is in essence the same thing as punishing them if they don't - is not art, or is at best bad art.

Art is when the artist is focused on expressing something he feels, not focused on using coercive tactics to influence how you feel. Art done well is more effective anyway, since we respond to expressive statements (especially those grounded in truth, however personal that truth) whereas our reaction to having someone else try to control what we think or feel is to recoil, to be repulsed.

But a lot of people who should know better...don't.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Darrell said...
Trump can claim that statue as Melania anytime."

Yeah. Based on what we know about Trump, why would the left assume he would be offended by a statue of a nude woman? He's not Pence or Huckabee.

buwaya said...

"Trying to force people to think a certain way - which is in essence the same thing as punishing them if they don't - is not art, or is at best bad art."

Every Church I have ever been in, every religious institution, and any number of pieces of public art, were meant to suggest that people think a certain way. This has been essential to art from its origins. Politics has always been expressed in art.

Ramses II did not commission statues of himself in order to create random beauty to charm the passerby.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Yeah. Based on what we know about Trump, why would the left assume he would be offended by a statue of a nude woman? He's not Pence or Huckabee.


If he weren't married to an actual supermodel, he could fap to it every night.

MikeD said...

In the 50's we were attacked by a 50 foot womyn, didn't seem to change anything, I still couldn't get laid.

mockturtle said...

Joep van Lieshout, the collective’s founder, said in a telephone interview. “A museum should be an open place for communication. The task of the museum and the press is to explain the work.” regarding another sculpture issue.

Admittedly, I'm not an artist and am uninformed enough to believe that good art needs no explanation.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

R.J. Chatt said...Most women don't actually look like that sculpture, only the ones who are born with the right genes, who maintain the right diet and work out regimes

Yes; this sculpture promotes an unrealistic body image and is thereby harmful to women and girls.
The subject itself is a reflection of the male gaze and in that sense is doubly sexist.
Shameful.

Anonymous said...

Every Church I have ever been in, every religious institution, and any number of pieces of public art, were meant to suggest that people think a certain way.

Exactly. Art "suggests".

Whereas political ads, WWII propaganda, and "art" such as, say, Fearless Girl - do not "suggest".

JaimeRoberto said...

Even money that this guy will be arrested for domestic violence within 6 months. He'll claim that he was just trying to start a conversation.

mikeski said...

The start of a conversation is a monologue.

Nobody who wants to "start a conversation" is interested in proceeding beyond that point.

chuck said...

Modern art is not even clever, just dumb. What is the point?

Assrat said...

>Modern art is not even clever, just dumb.

An honest conversation I had outside of an air Museum.

Me: I am not fond of modern art, but I quite like that. It's simple, but it looks optimistic, aspirational even. It really evokes the romance of flight.

OTHER GUY: That is a wind tunnel model of an upturned wingtip.

Jim at said...

You leftists aren't even trying anymore.

Step up your game. At least attempt to make a point.

buwaya said...

"Whereas political ads, WWII propaganda, and "art" such as, say, Fearless Girl - do not "suggest"."

There is an awful lot of proper, celebrated art that does not suggest, it bangs you over the head, and properly so.

Like this, everyone's favorite portrait of Elizabeth II -

https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2015/09/39f89aa885d795d1cfd6e863c1bc116c.jpg

"I am so, so much the boss around here".

mockturtle said...

Like this, everyone's favorite portrait of Elizabeth II -

https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2015/09/39f89aa885d795d1cfd6e863c1bc116c.jpg

"I am so, so much the boss around here".


Yes, she has worn the crown with grace and majesty and will be missed when the time comes. They should just abolish the monarchy at that point.

Anonymous said...

There is an awful lot of proper, celebrated art that does not suggest, it bangs you over the head, and properly so.l

Yes, especially if one insists on drawing examples only from before we humans got sophisticated enough to differentiate between art and politics. It gets even more confusing when we're talking about works whose interest comes as much from historical significance as aesthetic worth.

But if we stick with current terms and definitions (ancient pottery might have artistic merit; it does not prove that the dinnerware I bought at Target is art), then the reality is that "The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe" succeeds at its intended function - Christian apologetics - but it fails as art as measured by art's standards. (Which doesn't make it a bad book, because a book is not civic art, and should not be measured by the same standards that things designed for "the public" are measured by.)

The same is true in reverse: I have not followed recent developments, but, last I heard about the project, the proposed Eisenhower memorial was still ignoring the reason why America might want a memorial to Eisenhower (in favor of dwelling at length on how the artist feels about the subject "Eisenhower"). This may or may not be good artistically, but it fails at its actual purpose: it is neither civic nor does it fulfill the function for which memorials are commissioned, hence the dismay.

Bay Area Guy said...

At the SF Giants stadium (AT&T Park), there is a gigantic bronze baseball glove in the left field stands.

So, if you strategically placed said monster glove near the mid-section of the 45 foot woman statute, you would have a gigantic, post-modernistic, Bauhaus rendition of ...,,grabbing the pussy.

You could name the exhibit "Ode to Trump"

Ann Althouse said...

“Oh, Ann, Ann, Ann... Is nothing sacred?”

Yes!

Thanks for asking.

mockturtle said...

You could name the exhibit "Ode to Trump"

Or 'Trump' d'oeil.

Marek said...

Not sure if our hostess reads comments on posts this old, but I was at the National Gallery in London and saw this painting which reminded me of the superiority of nothing.

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/salvator-rosa-philosophy

"The painting shows an openly challenging and brooding character, which is underlined by the Latin inscription on the stone, lower left, below the right hand of the painter: 'Be quiet, unless your speech be better than silence'. In composition and in its sombre colouring the portrait recalls the half-length representations of Philosophy that Ribera had popularised in Naples.
"