Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Some Strange, Unusual and WTF? Statues

Caution: 
 The following photographs include risqué content and depictions of genitalia. Images may offend.


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Frogner Park in Oslo, Norway, contains a collection (23 to be exact) of weird statuary that is provocative, challenging, thought provoking, anatomical, nude and in some cases, weird. The above statue depicts a man battling demons which are in the form of children. See more statues at:
or just do a Google image search on Frogner Park Statues. Despite the nudity, none of the poses are pornographic. Here is the entrance and an enlarged detail of the entry column:



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The above Oz statue was originally displayed at Melbourne’s new City Museum but was relocated to La Trobe University in Bundoora in 2007. The statue is of Charles La Trobe, who was the first Lieutenant Governor of the colony of Victoria. La Trobe held office from 1839 to 1854, helping to establish the Royal Botanic Gardens, State Library, Museum of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria and University of Melbourne. Why is it upside down? According to Melbourne sculptor Charles Robb, he turned La Trobe on his head because “it embodies the notion that universities should turn ideas on their heads.”  That somehow reminds me of John Keating standing on his desk and declaring "I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way."

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Standing over 12m/40 feet tall and weighing more than 18 tonnes, "Le Pouce," or "The Thumb", was built in 1965 by sculptor César Baldaccini. It stands in a corporate park in the middle of the financial district of Paris and is a depiction of his own thumb.  Does the skin look like elephant hide to anyone else as well?

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Another one from Oz, yayy!!

Australia loves its “Big Things” sculptures and statues – animals, people, objects, monuments. You name it and there is probably a big thing of it.  A list of Oz Big Things, with pics, can be viewed at the following link:

An example of some Big Things:

Cairns also has its own: a 14m statue of Captain Cook (above), official discoverer of Australia who, after shooting one of the local indigenous population, claimed the country for Britain.   Approval for the statue, despite its height, was given by the local council in 1972 when the council failed to realise that the the height was given in metric metres rather than in imperial feet. The Council thought the statue was 14 feet high, when it was actually 14 metres/46 feet. Did it not also occur to anyone that it looks like Cook is delivering a “Heil Hitler” salute?

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The statue of a violinist bursting out of the floor is located in the foyer of the Muziektheater in the ‘Stopera’ (City Opera House) in Amsterdam. Because the artist is not known, the artist’s intention behind the work is also not known. The opera house is located in the area which was, before WW2, the largest Jewish neighbourhood in Amsterdam. About 80% of that Jewish population was wiped out, hence many consider the statue to be a homage to the Jewish victims and their music.


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I was in two minds about adding the next two items.  Although I try to be intellectually honest, there are nonetheless images and depictions that I have rejected as being inappropriate, too graphic or unsuitable.  Even some of the Pulitzer series have caused me some discomfort in being shown, making me feel voyeuristic in looking at extremely sad and poignant personal moments.  The child deaths were cases in point.   The following images depict male and female genitalia.   Ultimately I decided that if the sculptures can be publicly displayed, including as a permanent sculpture at a university, it won’t be 'The End of Civilisation As We Know It' if I show and write about it them.

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The giant penis statue, a 9m/30 feet erection, is located at Longwan Shaman Amusement Park in the city of Changchun in northern China. It is named Sky Pillar and is a concrete pole wrapped in straw.  Apparently it honours a Shaman hero named Ewenki who vanquished a cruel female ruler and gave her a penis totem, telling her to respect males and not kill them at will. 

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And in the interests of equality and non sexist discrimination, here is a pic of a statue outside the Institute of Microbiology at the University of Turbingen, Germany. I have been unable to locate any information on the sculptor or the story behind the statue but apparently it is a popular spot for taking photographs, especially with people standing in the sculpture:




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