We just read Freud’s First Lecture in my free will class. His London statue analogy has been in my thoughts all week. Monuments simply fall into the background because there are so many. Only tourists stop to notice. If locals took the time to cry or observe these testimonies to history it would seem strange. I take pictures of them for the ecstatic, not the history. Our need to commemorate and memorialize is astounding. Live in the present while keeping symbolic anchors to the past. Here is a short excerpt from my notes as I sat next to the pictured statue garden and monument. (click to enlarge)
Man made beauty. Commit these figures to memory. Proud men of the past immortalized in bronze and marble. The fountain beneath them runs like an eternal liquid life form. Gold plated these conquers stand victoriously as if surviving their domain. Who built this testimony? What artist dared take a commission to celebrate false triumph? Did it pain him to chisel this likeness? At night did he laugh or cringe at a world that lets history live through art? I need no story or history to read this statue. Mask falsity with pride and a towering form.