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yet another statue dispute(11 posts)

yet another statue disputeDougSloan
Sep 10, 2003 2:20 PM
If in America, would the primary issue be the nudity or the fact that the statue portrays prayer? ;-)

Naked Male Statue Stirs Jamaican Art Debate
Wed Sep 10,10:33 AM ET Add Oddly Enough - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Horace Helps

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) - A sculpture meant to celebrate emancipation has sparked heated debate in Jamaica's capital over its frank portrayal of a naked male slave.

Named "Redemption Song" after the song by Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley, the 11-foot bronze statue was placed at the new Emancipation Park on Aug. 1, when Jamaicans mark the anniversary of the end of slavery in the former British colony in 1838.

The work portrays a man and woman, nude, with hands by their sides and heads lifted in a seeming prayer of thanks to God that slavery has ended.

Some Jamaicans have objected to the nudity, particularly to the male statue, saying its penis is too large.

"There seems to be an interest by the sculptor to present the penis as the main attraction, when in fact there could have been other things highlighted," complained resident Jenny Francis. "There should have been some clothes put on, it's not all about nudity," she said.

The statue was commissioned by the state-run National Housing Trust and created by sculptor Lorna Facey Cooper at a cost of US$800,000.

Every day, thousands of people drive past the bronze figures or line up to get a closer look, take photographs or shoot videos. Many admire the sculpture.

Cooper said her work extols emancipation. "My piece is not about ropes, chains or torture. I have gone beyond that. I want healing," she said.

But the statue has provoked heated arguments on radio talk shows and among newspaper columnists and letter writers over whether it is a celebration of the defiant spirit that ended slavery, or a vulgar affront to the innocence of young children visiting the park.

One critical newspaper columnist even urged a referendum on the future of the statue.

"There is nothing wrong with the statue. We Jamaicans are just so hypocritical. Some of us go almost nude when Carnival time comes around," said one resident, Adrienne Thomas, who has two children.

"We do so many vulgar things, yet no one says anything about it. Now we are looking at a statue and focusing so much on a penis. It's so sad."
What's everybody on about? Doesn't look overly big to me. nmczardonic
Sep 10, 2003 2:35 PM
they are praying, for cryin out loud! isn't that outrageous? nmDougSloan
Sep 10, 2003 2:46 PM
Are they?czardonic
Sep 10, 2003 3:03 PM
Other than writer's inference, I don't see any confirmation that this is a religious statue. Certainly, however much the skyward gaze my imply prayer, the hands to the sides seems to leave it open to interpretation who the prayer is directed to. No Establishment, no foul -- If this were in the U.S., that is. Even as an athiest and strong supporter of the seperation of Church and State, I am not necessarily against the recognition of faith as a general concept, even by the State. Religion is a fact of life and an integral aspect of our culture. Religion is not my concern, Establishment is.
they are praying, for cryin out loud! isn't that outrageous? nm4bykn
Sep 11, 2003 12:17 PM
So when we look skyward we are praying? And I claim to never pray, better quit looking up.
Well it is Jamaica-filtersweep
Sep 11, 2003 5:19 AM
Seriously, I guess the US isn't the only country "uncomfortable" with male frontal nudity...
It's a good thing, it's not here. Ashcroft would put pants on itMR_GRUMPY
Sep 10, 2003 3:56 PM
hm...Duane Gran
Sep 11, 2003 5:10 AM
I know it is a cheap shot, but it sounds like envy to me. ;)

Seriously though, I can't imagine someone would build a $800,000 statue without drawing up some concept designs. The protesters probably had ample opportunity to object to illustrations or make their wishes known before it was sculpted. Too late, too bad.
Unless that guy just had really hot.................... shower128
Sep 11, 2003 6:10 AM
his unit would not be so configured, in it's usual state Michelangeno had a more realistic interpretation of our area.
Rarely does the limb hang below the fruit (medical fact.)even uncut.
Couldn't this portrayal of the works further the stereotype of the oversexed savages? You know, "welcome to Jamica, have a nice day mun!"

Personally, I am not offended. But both the boy and girl's visible sexual organs in this photo look cartoonish to me, stylized and unrealistic, at least not average. Breasts that size sag, they don't perk, unless medically cantelevered or some hyperdeveloped 13 y/o. But hey that's cool. Who knows what the artist was after...dispelling steroetypes I doubt.

As for the question: Male nudity. Yanks are used to physically exploited/naked women, and wouldn't even see the prayer. They look like they may have just finished loving, relieved, relaxed even though exposed. But looking forward from the bondage of slavery must certainly have that metaphorical effect..
Did David race?53T
Sep 11, 2003 9:05 AM
He seems to have gone wild with the razor.

Your observations are right on. Both figures have exagerated organs. Perhaps suggesting that the true hope for redemption lies in future generations.
I knew someone would play the race card.128
Sep 11, 2003 10:21 AM
Why don't 'real 'racers shave their heads??
Anyway, I agree with your perceptive analysis.

and fwiw, i don't really care for the sculpture itself, as best i can tell from that photo...