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 AE Reiff
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 AE Reiff
Opiomes the Domes
by AE Reiff  FollowFollow
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As far as I can tell the narrator of this writing does not believe in the universe. This is the ultimate thought crime to all the sources and...read more to the world itself to observe the universe as a construct that its believers substitute for what before was their notion of god or gods. Their notion of the universe as provider is random distribution with a cause, much like Jung believes the psyche will provide, a la Joseph Campbell, a hero when a hero is needed. This they follow hook line and sinker to the stars as both agents of divination and divination itself. But I think this is pale beside THE BRIGHT EXTENSIVE WILL.
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Opiomes the Domes
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Opiomes the Domes

WHAT WERE THE ANCESTRAL VOICES prophesying war that Coleridge heard in a dream?

Oh that deep romantic chasm

Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure,

I would build that dome in air,

That sunny dome! Those caves of ice!

And all who heard should see them there,

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

They were the starchitectures of Gigantotomy, a lot to take in one, let alone many: the Tower of Babel, Ishtar Gate, Capitol Dome, Washington Monument, Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, EU Parliament, Denver Airport, the eyes of Oculus Horus in the subway beneath the 9/11 site, a vortex swallowing the globe. Name your own. Goat statues don’t count.

Shrines more or less equivalent to embodied ideas, political-religious metaphysicals repeat and mimic that sunny dome. But whether the milk of paradise of Coleridge’s "Kubla Khan" or the artificial paradises of the French (Les Paradis artificiels), “the dreams of a maniac who would replace solid furniture and a real garden by decorative canvas backdrops,” it strikes us that Baudelaire, the poet of sulphur flowers, moralizes against artifice as much as William Burroughs is against drugs (Naked Lunch). Both reputations go against this grain, but they learned hard, as did Rimbaud who embraced Christ on his death bed.

Starchitectures come to every species. The bizarre Spider of Bilbao and the Blue Horse of Denver live in the shade where Frabel designed glass botanicals, “flowers like the lily, Dogwood, Cherokee Rose and various Orchids recreated in borosilicate glass” (Life in the Gardens). Star doctrine says “there is not one single invention of Nature, however subtle or impressive it may be that the human spirit cannot create; no forest of Fontainebleu or moonlit scene that cannot be produced on a floodlit stage; no waterfall that hydraulics cannot imitate so perfectly as to be indistinguishable from the original; no rock that paper-mache cannot copy; no flower that specious taffetas and delicately painted papers cannot rival!”

They do not call themselves Earthitects who turn flowers into glass, trees into gold and fulfill a dozen fantasies from material riches to immortality. Starchitecture is as old as we make it, or find it, the hedge of yellow metal of Claudian, the ambiguity of gold refined from earth, an image of wisdom as deadly as Midas killing the plant with a touch. This vision of reality, a forgery, counterfeit, artifice is what Baudelaire says substitutes the vision for reality itself. The fruit of gold, the glass orchid, immortality satisfy no hunger for food any more than hunger for beauty or life. The fraudulent towers, sculptures and buildings, if we judge by the gold plant, lose all their nature in seeking to touch the sky, to enshrine the starchitects as absurdly as the golden age.

Among many notable leaping frogs of starchitecture the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao is another airport where these ideas fly in. You might imagine a schedule of arrivals and departures, but more than flights of fancy if we say forces want to take the Horse into Troy.

Guggenheim-Bilbao and EU Parliament-Babel combine with a spider and a siren and the Blue Horse of Denver as examples of these visions of reality. Structures read like illustrations, semaphores on the runways of the new age. Anubis and the Denver Murals are signaling. Architects, dubbed “archistars” for their designs, make starchitecture to memorialize themselves, but the coinage suits admirably the works of thousands of years,  including the Trojan Horse and the Ishtar Gate. The Blue Horse in Denver doesn’t quite seem demonic enough. Such honor should be reserved for that part human / part beast seen by the Aztecs as the Spanish on horseback. Likewise we interpret today the depictions in ancient Sumer, horses with heads of a lion, hair of a woman, and stingers in their tails as from Bergman's Seventh Seal as recombinant mutants of all kinds from USDA labs.  The movies long ago replaced the news as sources of current events. Movies and of course the classics. Visiting Anubis, the Jackal-headed death dog that floated down the Thames from Egypt on its world tour, these join the line of iconic figures that dwarf or magnify the past in the guise of bringing art to the masses.

Bring Art to the Masses

In order to better manipulate these structures, committees of starchitects are planning to revive Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book II, as illustrated by Gustave Dore, that is, Satan on the Burning Lake. This is prophetic also of Milton’s iconotecture in raising up Pandemonium from a bubble pipe, also being prepared by governments for execution.

Michelangelo’s "Drunkenness of Noah" is sure to be made an inebriant hologram broadcast to numb the culling of the herd.

Turner’s "Angel Standing in the Sun" is on the drawing board for the new millennium in France.

The Denver Airport only needs some further Dante to traverse its underground and show it a ship ready for blast off. Denver Airport Elites Escape Earth! Are you ready for blast off?  Read this before you go.

 photo 800px-Denver_International_Airport.jpg

News photographers on the Inferno beat, I mean the Dante/Virgil Report, will expose those “two travelers who find the shaggy and gigantic Lucifer at the absolute center of the Earth, embedded up to his waist in ice. The only way they can continue their journey is by climbing down his sides—there is plenty of hair to hold on by—and squeezing through the hole in the ice and so coming to his feet” they climb down the page, “though it is down to his waist, it is up to his feet” (Inferno xxxiv, 70f: C. S. Lewis, The Discarded Image, 141-2).

That hair is needed because directions are reversed and its been cold. Anybody planning to leave should make ready their passport metaphors, hair and all. Whether dome, spaceship, donkey or mule carry their sins aloft or beneath, the epic world is closer than we know. Scale an inch to the miles below. 

 

EDITOR’S NOTES W/LINKS:

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan:

Supposedly Coleridge dreamed up this poem under the influence of opium.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubla_Khan

 

 photo gmb_bilbao_690x235.jpg

Starchitecture:

Weird or unconventional structures designed by celebrity archeticts such as Frank Gehry.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/starchitecture#English

 

Gigantotomy:

figures carved into hillsides such as Mt Rushmore or the Cerne Abbas Giant

http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/Gigantotomy

 

Denver Airport:

because of its unconventional design the airport has been the subject of a great many conspiracy theories such as "it is the HQ of the New World Order"

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Denver_Airport_conspiracy_theory

 

Blue Mustang:

this sculpture of a horse is associated with the theories concerning the Denver Airport. The sculptor himself was killed when the horse fell over on him in his studio.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Mustang

 

European Union Parliament Building

a structure often likened to the fable Tower of Babel

http://vigilantcitizen.com/sinistersites/sinister-sites-the-eu-parliament/

 

Tower of Babel:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel

 

Nebuchadnezzar’s Gold Statue

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_2

 

Ishtar Gate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishtar_Gate

 

Oculus Horus:

a public arts project in which strange occult symbols were painted in the subway beneath the World Trade Center

http://www.jesus-is-avior.com/Evils%20in%20Government/911%20Cover-up/911_memorial.htm

 

William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_Lunch

 

Hans Godo Frabel:

a noted glass artist

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Godo_Frabel

 

Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seventh_Seal

and can be obtained here:

http://www.criterion.com/films/173-the-seventh-seal?q=autocomplete

 

Michaelangelo’s “Drunkeness of Noah”:

http://art-now-and-then.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-greatest-painting.html

 

JW Turner’s “Angel Standing in the Sun”:

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-the-angel-standing-in-the-sun-n00550

 

Charles Baudelaire’s Les Paradis Artificiels:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Paradis_artificiels

 

Milton’s Paradise Lost & Pandemonium:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradise_Lost

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandæmonium_(Paradise_Lost)

 photo N00550_10.jpg

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