Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Pink Poodle in the Palace

Let's play a little game I learned on Sesame Street. It is called, "One of These Things is Not Like the Others."

France: The Art Capital of the World, place of inspiration, beauty, and style.

The Palace at Versailles: Famed for extravagance, elegance, and grandeur.

The Pink Poodle: A modern art sculpture depicting a balloon dog of scary proportions.

This sculpture (and many others by the same artist) were on display throughout the historic Palace at Versailles during our visit. One sculpture looked like a silver Mylar balloon bunny, another was just a plain blue Mylar balloon. The piece de resistance? A sculpture of Michael Jackson with his monkey, Bubbles, graced the King's Parlor. Can we file this under "What were they thinking?"

At the same time, I see a spiritual parallel. No, really, stick with me. I think the Pink Poodle stands for the Post-modern, "enlightenment" philosophy that the French embraced so thoroughly in the late 18th century. At the time, those beliefs seemed reasonable, wise, and advanced. But when integrated into real life--those same beliefs are as unreasonable as a giant pink poodle in the drawing room. They make a big statement, but the statement they make is neither living nor true.

Some day this exhibit will move on, and Versailles will be free from artwork that actually detracts from its beauty and value. Some day France, too, can be free from the burden of modernism, and open to embracing something that is both living and true: My Jesus.

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