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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hideous Public Art (3)

This week's Hideous Public Art comes from the city of Levis, Quebec - directly across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City (and the spot from which General Wolfe bombarded the city during the siege in 1759). Levis has a memorial park on a busy thoroughfare dedicated to the memory of Alphonse Desjardins and his lovely wife Dorimene. Alphonse was the founder of the Caisse Populaire de Levis, the first caisse populaire (or credit union as they are known in English Canada) in the province of Quebec.

The sculpture is a memorial to M. and Mme Desjardins, but a more appropriate title would be "Memorial to the Hookers of Levis" since the work gives the distinct impression that Mme Desjardins is a lady of the evening, lingering in a doorway, displaying her wares to passersby. M. Desjardins is clearly interested, and appears to be negotiating a fee for Dorimene's services before entering her establishment, briefcase in hand.

But wait a minute, Alphonse - all is not as it seems. Dorimene is clearly a member of the Legions of the Undead - look closely and you'll notice that she HAS NO LEGS and is floating about two feet off the ground with no visible means of support. RUN, Alphonse, RUN! This so-called "woman" is some sort of revenant from beyond the grave, and obviously hangs around the doorways of Levis during full moons wearing her tattered burial shroud, luring unsuspecting horny men to their doom, briefcases and all.

Alphonse and Dorimene Desjardins were clearly upstanding citizens who did a lot for the city of Levis and the province of Quebec. It's hard to get that impression from this weird monument.

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