For those of you who have wondered as to my artistic insight, this is my first (and probably last ...) foray as an art critic... leave your comments at the end!
I'm in Vancouver today attending the Faith Political Interface conference.I'll tell you more about that later, but I wanted to tell you what I saw today when I stepped out for a break. It's called "A Device to Root Out Evil". If you live in Vancouver, you probably know where it is (W Cordova and Butte in Waterfront Park...)
This statue is controversial but in the light of the conference I'm attending, I found it absolutely inspiring. The artist is making some obvious statements about how he sees the church and it's role in the world.
The beauty of art is that it can be interpreted in a number of ways.... If steeples point us to heaven to remind us of our hope in God and in the strength and power He provides, the inverted church, with the steeple being rooted into the ground reminds me of the amazing impact that the church can have in uprooting injustice and dispelling darkness. The only way to rid a garden of weeds is to pull them out by the root and that requires getting on your knees and putting your hands to work. When I stood beside the sculpture, I couldn't help but think of a plow being plunged into the ground to prepare the land for seed. The bible speaks of breaking up our fallow ground because it is time to seek the Lord.
The sculptor (Oppenheim) says that he simply inverted the object to catch the attention of people and that the inverted steeple points us to hell instead of heaven. The words of Jesus "I will build my church" and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" ring particularly true. Perhaps this sculpture is nothing more than a sign pointing to the reality that because of the cross, even a mocking statue points to our overwhelming victory over EVERYTHING that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ.
So - what do you think??