Saturday, December 29, 2012

This just in

I'm fascinated by the concept behind a sculpture that was installed in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland last month.
The reactions to the placement and content have been predictably controversial.
When I found out about "Him", the statue of Hitler at prayer, I wanted to know what was behind it.
Who conceived it?
Wat was he trying to say?
How did it end up in the Warsaw Ghetto?
I found that the artist Maurizio Cattelan, an Italian artist based in NYC is known as a satirist, and, as his entry in wikipedia points out, "his work seeks to highlight the incongruous nature of the world and our interventions within it no matter where they may lie."
This piece certainly does that.
Does a physical posture make a man good- or evil?
Are we certain Hitler didn't pray?
Is this a symbol of hypocrisy or repentance?
I found out that Poland's foremost rabbi who was consulted on the placement agreed that this was a worthy project because it made people question what they knew about the face of evil
But this isn't the only place the statue has been shown. It's been on display all over the world, including the Guggenheim in NYC.
"When people see this piece, they react with gasps, tears, disbelief. The impact is stunning," collector and Holocaust survivor Stefan Edlis told The Economist in 2009. "Politics aside, that is how you judge art.” 
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