work at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago satirized academic
political correctness at its peak. The bronze text reads "SATIREV,"
which is truth (Veritas) spelled backwards in Latin. When one approached
this quasi-Voodoo alter of resplendent purple velvet and red silk, five
feminist figurines automatically raised their female symbols, the mirror,
in unison. The figurines are caricatures of several of the artist's radical
feminist professors. Intended to amuse and provoke, the gesture combined
connotations of ideological power, i.e. the specter of Nazi and Roman
authoritarianism, Christian evangelizing and of female self-consciousness.
The figurines are carved from wood in the style of Santos, wooden saints
from Latin American churches and symbolize radical feminist ideologues.
A cast bronze Celtic cross hangs over them through a rip in a red silk
communist flag. This cross is also the Voodoo symbol of the crossroads
which represents the intersection life and death. The mirror symbol the
Santos grasp, which is the scientific symbol of woman, is the same as
the cross only the religious symbol is enlarged and folded over. When
the figurines raise their power symbols they evangelize their ideology
into an insidious quasi-religious caricature Each Santos, "Lucy"
"Patti" "Kay" "Abigail" "Toni"
are pictured in detail to the left. Each is approximately 2 x 4 x 9 inches.
Carved from wood, each has an arm which automatically rises (thanks to
an infrared motion detector) with her power symbol with the approach of
a viewer. Each woman appears haggard and wears colorful multicultural
clothing for political purposes.
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