But I Don"t Like It...

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Posted by panch from pool0873.cvx24-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net ( on Sunday, June 23, 2002 at 6:26PM :

...that's the honest reaction many people will undoubtedly have towards the Lamasu sculpture. They may well believe that a sculpture that size is worth the money...might accept the fact that it's a valid subject, or an okay interpretation...but they just wont like it enough to buy it. Under ordinary circumstances...who could argue with them?

Our circumstances are far from ordinary, and Time does matter.

But, if you stop to consider the larger picture, what this is all about...you might come to think that in this case, it really doesn't matter...or shouldn't. Let's consider why we are doing this in the first place.

I think it would be good to install this monument, of all subjects, because it is the one symbol we are most known by. On top of that it combines elements of three distinct types or designs, so it is a rich subject as well...very evocative. And the modern interpretation can attract more people than a strict copy...which shouldn't be all we are ever capable of.

Since there isn't any one sugar daddy I can appeal to...one or two people who would step forward and foot the entire bill...I have to appeal to many people...and the chances of picking one subject that would appeal equally to several people is slim at best.

Also, this is about more than just placing a hunk of bronze somewhere...these monuments provide an opportunity for some of us to begin to show that we too can put our money where our mouth and hearts and minds are...that we have faith, that we believe, that we understand enough about modern life to value and learn from the example of others. This country and several more are dotted with monuments for a good reason...they move people...period.

Any subject I picked would have its supporters and its detractors...ten would like and ten would not. Where does that leave us? If our past behavior is any indication, it will mean that ten will go in one direction and the other ten will go another way, splitting us yet again and diluting the pool of resources we have available to us. That's what has happened in religion and politics and social clubs and academic societies.

If we could keep our focus...admit that this statue is as good, if not better or worse, than another one...one more liked by this person or that faction...if we could keep our eyes on the prize here...that we want to show what can be done when we come together...when we put aside enough of each person's personal prejudice or whims for the greater good...we might be able to make this one AND the one another set of people want...thereby satisfying both sides and maybe even all sides eventually.

The point is to reverse the dismal trend of the last fifty years...the last 14 years for me. That's how long my work has been bottled up and blocked. In 1988 we installed the Ashurbanipal Monument and while it's been working for us all those years, fourteen years later I can't get the Shumirum installed because I wont sell it out...and the Hammurabi I had to destroy myself. It strikes me as a pity to let all this raw talent, training and willingness go to waste...and there isn't any way I am going to find 100 Assyrians or fifty who will all miraculously agree on any one sculpture as a monument for us all...and be willing to help pay for it. No way.

So, let's not waste time. It isn't the best sculpture in the world, I'm not the best sculptor in the world...but we don't need the best right now...we need "good enough". That...would be best.

Otherwise it's back to the same old same old...this group wants "A"...the other wants "B" and a third one learns from their example and sets up a "C"...which leads to D,E and F real fast...and there you have us, all over again.

My suggestion...if you don't like this particluar subject matter, or the way it's handled...remember that the person making a monument or writing a play for us all...has to be inspired...his creative juices have to flow...she has to be excited over it. Don't start out by putting the artist in "her place" by reminding her who writes the checks...that's humiliating and no way to start out.

Since any one of several themes would serve the purpose...show some respect for the artist...let the person whose name is on the line...and reputation, have the choice...as long it isn't an awful one.

If I make a change in my design to please Tweedledee...it's very possible that I will lose him to gain Tweedledum...and I'll still only have one person supporting me. let it go...don't dictate to us as if we were your gardeners or housekeepers...learn that much class at least, and you'll be far more satisfied in the long run, and most importantly, you'll get our very best so we can achieve the really important goal, which is not to please a faction of our own people...but to reach the larger audience.

-- panch
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