Gnomic #1 by Deiter Reichstag
On display at the Burning Gallery at Burning Badger Waldorf School in Happy Valley,Pennsylvania through January 4
It is a disgrace that the Collegium allowed this repulsive image to be displayed at the Burning Gallery. The insertion of “Barbie” in the sacred space of the natural world is a violation of everything we hold most dear at Burning Badger Waldorf School. Reichstag introduces the sacrilege of plastic in the garden of childhood. The snake in Eden. For shame!
And notice the poor craftmanship on the gnome’s hat. If it is a gnome. The hat does not fit.
What do you expect in a world of throw-away plastic toys? The loving hand of a mother should be felt in every stitch of a child’s playthings, not the injection site of industrial molding. Not to mention the offgassing “Barbie” exposes our vulnerable children to. Barbie contaminates gnomes by her presence in this photo.
Again I question whether this is a gnome or a badger depicted here.
I believe it is a badger dressed as a gnome. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.
I think you miss the tenderness of the gnome. He is not a wolf but a godly creature expressing a heartfelt concern for the fate of the doll found in the leaves of the Lamb’s Ears. Notice the eyes. The imperfection of the hat represents the latent human spirit in this anthropomorphized figure. The leaves of the plant, darkened by frost, evoke the Lamb of God, as sacrificial offering.
If it is indeed a gnome, then it is a gnome of color. This raises some interesting issues about the role of race in anthroposophy. Are there Asian gnomes? Hispanic gnomes? African gnomes?
The truth is that the spread of anthroposophical education throughout the globe is no different than previous waves of evangelical European and American imperialism. As with the Christian missionaries, the followers of Steiner impose on children of color a racist and Eurocentric pedagogy. “Gnomic #1” exposes the colonial encounter with the other as an encounter between duhamanized archetypes who are ultimately the playthings of a God who narcissistically demands his own reproduction through the perpetual sacrifice and resurrection of man in his own image. In this tableau in the garden both the figures are ultimately reincarnations whether industrial or handcrafted.
Are you saying that the Barbie is sacrificed here? That the Lamb’s Ear are a reference to her forfeiture?
The Barbie does in fact represent the deathliness of all human objects whether it is seen through the lens of Marx, God or a Nikon camera. The gnome discovers his own fallen state when he encounters the dead toy just as we experience our own mortality in the alienation of our artifacts.
I don’t think you can say a toy is dead any more than you can say it is alive.
Be that as it may, Deiter. I ask you is that an appropriate message for the children who may happen upon this image as they carelessly race through the Burning Gallery on the way to class? Do we ask them to encounter this staging of their own death through the representation of playthings?
I remind you AnthropopMama (and I do know you who are) that all art objects are ultimately playthings.
To compare Barbie to Jesus Christ just shows you the fallen state of the anthroposophical world. For shame!
Comments have been closed on this Instagram photo by the Harried Administrator.
About Deiter Reichstag
Deiter Reichstag is new to Happy Valley and we hope he will be embraced by our community.
Deiter speaks five languages and is cagey about where he is from. Deiter’s wife Natalia, also a polyglot, is from Bulgaria by way of Venezuela and Rome. She works in her glass studio, a converted sugar shack heated by a second hand woodstove, creating unusual paper weights. To make extra money Natalia does data entry for a professor in Bulgaria working on a study of homosexuality in animals. Deiter is writing a pornographic novel which he does not like to talk about, and is working on an iphone app which he hopes will finance his art. They own a falling-apart monastary in the mountains of Bolivia where they spend vacations and intend to retire.