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Diatribe: Folks In Wasilla, Alaska, Are Talking Smack About Art.

02/29/2012

In 2003 and amid much controversy, Musica, a bronze statue was installed in Nashville’s Music Row Roundabout as part of an urban renewal project for the area.  Created by Alan LeQuire, Musica is the largest sculpture commission to date and, possibly, the largest in the United States.  It features nine human figures, as tall as fifteen feet, soaring approximately thirty-eight feet into the air, dancing and celebrating above a base composed of huge limestone boulders.  The nine figures are nude!

Judging from the uproar that the statue initially caused, one would have thought it was a full-blown orgy of drugs and debauchery and villagers carrying torches and pitchforks.  Some locals carried on about how “indecent” it was and that only in the United States is it acceptable for naked statues paid for by private money to be displayed on public land while copies of the Ten Commandments paid for by private funds could not.  They tried, unsuccessfully to have the beautiful statue removed from public view.  I think it’s beautiful and the city should be proud to have it on display.  Lighten up … if you don’t want to look at it, don’t look.

The good folks in Wasilla, Alaska are waging a similar battle about a 12.5-foot sculpture that was installed last month on the lawn in front of Wasilla High School.  Once in place, students quickly began joking that the sculpture looks like female genitalia and, just days after being introduced, the statue was covered with a tarp.  School officials insist that the move was to protect the art from potential vandalism and not to censor sexual discussion.  I think I have a pretty vivid imagination, but I don’t think this looks like girl parts at all.

Emerging from the powerful stone form are two warrior shields encircled by glowing feathers. The bronze shield has a hand impression showing “good deeds.” The aluminum shield has a flame symbol representing the “spark of inspiration.” The stone form represents the strong material from which a warrior is made. – Description of the Warrior Within attributed to its artistic partners.

Kids will be kids and nobody can make anyone else appreciate or even understand the concept of “art”.  Controversies of this nature have occurred throughout the ages.  Tastes change, society changes, everything comes in and out of fashion … including art.

Do you think this looks like a vagina?  Is it offensive and distasteful enough to stir a public debate?  At least the folks in Wasilla are talking about art.  And, if you ask me, that’s a step in the right direction.

Copyright © 2012 www.DiatribesAndOvations.com
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11 Comments
  1. Okay so, I live near Nashville. I love that statue. It’s beautiful. It’s in no way indecent in my eyes. It makes Nashville the beautiful city that it is. We also have these guitar statues about the city painted so colorful, they’re beautiful, Nashville is pretty artsy…I love it ( I am pretty artsy). That statue does not look like a vagina and really, who’s worse? The ppl that made it or ppl that see genitalia in every thing they look at. COME ON. Georgia O’Keefe caught a lot of crap for this too. Art is open for interpretation and sorry that is not explicitly a vagina. Children aren’t going to see a vagina when they look at it, they’ll see it for whatever they think it is. This isn’t indecent. Art is not indecent when it’s a true expression. I know that sounds oh so pretentious of me…but you never know what an artist is thinking or feeling when they create not entirely. Oh AND these staunch moralistic upright assholes make things more perverted than open minded free spirited people ever thought to. You have to be a little deviant to see sexuality in a degrading sense when you look at any inanimate object…fact.

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    • You go, girl! I’m with you … I love Musica, too. And I have little patience for people that criticize things that they know nothing about. If art in front of a school disrupts the classrooms than remove it … not because it’s indecent, but because it’s disruptive.

      Remember Robert Maplethorpe? Things haven’t really changed, have they?

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  2. gina permalink

    It looks like it is giving birth. LOL

    What were they thinking putting something that could even slightly resemble genitalia in front of a high school?? they had to expect the results they got. I have 2 teen-age sons and they see sex EVERYWHERE.

    I am not a prude at all and would have no problem with this statue but I think the school officials are right to be concerned about vandalism.

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  3. Will J permalink

    The people of Wasilla Alaska have far much more for which to apologize.

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  4. Anonymous permalink

    those people must have nothing to do up there, or they are obsessed with SEX!

    pul-eeze! and I agree with will j!

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  5. It’s a vertical eye, if anything. Wow, anything could look like a vagina or anus if you think about it. Why don’t they complain about computer mice? My friends have been insisting that the middle mouse button is like a clitoris for the longest time!

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