“A controversial art piece with an interesting purpose..”
First installed in Vancouver, BC, Canada this art piece was deemed too controversial for the city and was later relocated to a park in Calgary, Alberta.
The piece is a 25-ft tall, aluminum framed, red glass shingled church turned on it's head, the steeple pointing into the ground.
It was designed by American sculptor Dennis Oppenheim, who said that:
“Turning the church upside down makes it more aggressive, but not blasphemous.”
Though commissioned by the President’s Panel on Art, the president of Stanford University rejected the sculpture because it was “not appropriate” for the campus.
“That piece, initially called Church, was proposed to the Public Art Fund in the city of New York to be built last year on Church Street, where I live. The director thought it was too controversial, and felt it would stimulate a lot of negative reaction from the Church and the religious population. I then changed the title to “Device to Root out Evil”, to sidestep unwanted focus on ambient content. It’s a very simple gesture that’s made here, simply turning something upside-down. One is always looking for a basic gesture in sculpture, economy of gesture: it is the simplest, most direct means to a work. Turning something upside-down elicits a reversal of content and pointing a steeple into the ground directs it to hell as opposed to heaven.”
NOTE: The featured image shows the Device to Root Out Evil when it was displayed in Vancouver. Don't fret - it's definitely in Calgary.
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Device to Root out Evil (removed)
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