I am not sure if I was supposed to take a photo inside the De Young Museum or not, but this exhibit so deeply struck me that I had to do it. It was captured in December, 2009 inside the DeYoung Museum of San Francisco. This "sculpture" as it is termed, consists of the charred wooden remains of an African American Baptist Church in Alabama which was destroyed - burned to the ground - by "arsonists." The artist was Cornelia Parker. She titled this sculpture "Anti- Mass" as an alternative but similar sculpture that was entitled "Mass." Now, "Mass" was a sculpture of a church that was burned by natural means (lightning). This piece in view here, "Anti-Mass" was the result of "human" vandolism, intolerance, and hatred! Nothing more, nothing less.
Ms Parker's sculpture here, "Anti-Mass," consists of pieces of burnt wood from the church, hanging by thin wires from the museum ceiling and arranged in such a way as to resemble the shape of the original church. As a tribute, this sculpture serves as a reminder of the power of spiritual strength versus physical and social intolerance.
On this day, January 17, 2011 - Dr Martin Luther King Jr's birthday - it provides a way for me to reach out to all who will listen and ask that we all take some time to look deeply into ourselves and think about the prejudices, intolerance, and bitterness that we may face, or that we may, ourselves, manifest through our own behaviour and attitudes, and what we can do to encourage the furtherment of peace, love, and tolerance in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. The never ending quest for tolerance and peace among all humans surely is what Dr King practiced throughout his life. The recent atrocities in Arizona are yet another example of intolerance (ostensibly fed by mental instability) carried out to the most disastrous end. There is no good result for hatred and bitterness, and there is nothing that can "excuse" these behaviours.
** Staples Singers - "Respect Yourself"
- " We do not move forward from a middle opinion, which is undemocratic but mediocratic.
We advance from a creative passion "- (Edgar Morin)
- "To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at
that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson.
::Words from Denny:
- My beliefs, and values, have always been strongly tied-to music, especially Jazz, and Blues.
- The following artists and lyrics seem to "sum-up" where my spirit resides:
EARTH WIND AND FIRE;
"HOLD ON TO YOUR SPIRIT,
ALWAYS FEEL YOUR SOUL....
HONOR THE MAGIC IN YOUR HEART"; Earth Wind and Fire