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  /  ...THE THINGS WE LOVE   /  The Devil in the Details

We have recently come across the Satanic Temple of Detroit on the internet, through reading a piece on their Baphomet statue, which is we have to say is a wonderful work of art on it’s own. But what does it stand for?

The statue itself, made by Brooklyn-based sculptor Mark Porter is an impressive sight. Almost a ton in weight, the horned, half human-half ram idol sits on a throne with a pentagram on the top of it. The two children standing at it’s hoofs, looking up on it in piety are just making the whole composition even more eerie.

The satanic church of Detroit.

Mark took inspiration from a 19th century drawing of Baphomet by the french occultist Eliphas Levi. He later described his work in an interview done by Observer as “I can’t help but see this work as an actualization of my 15-year-old self sketching heavy metal album covers.”

Eliphas Levi’s original 19th century drawing.

He also took inspiration from many different sources when actually producing the sculpture, starting from Slayer album covers through Michelangelo’s David to the paintings of Norman Rockwell.

In that same interview, he told about the difficulties he have endured during creating the statue: “I did most of the ceramic and metal work outside in Florida, which added to the whole ‘hell’ theme”. 

Something evil lurks in the Woods!

Something evil lurking in the Woods! Photo: instagram.com/markjporter

The statue have also proved to be a perfect stress test for the American public; what is that point when religious freedom make the society feel uncomfortable?

And the reactions were scaling from admiration to upright indignation! We are safe to say that this piece is the most controversial contemporary art created in the US.

The unveiling in Detroit happened within the frameworks of a secret event, with the attendees receiving the correct adress of the venue with only a couple of hours prior to the start. They then attended a hedonistic celebration accompanied by provocative installations and performances as well, chanting “HAIL SATAN!” all night.

mattanderson

Photo: Matt Anderson, Time.com

In the other hand, reverend Dave Bullock, a pastor at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Highland Park, Michigan, reacted to the news by saying “The last thing we need in Detroit is having a welcome home party for evil.”

But before you, dear reader, start wielding the hammer of judgement, let us show you The Satanic Temple of Detroit from another perspective…

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Satanism as a religious belief sounds the alarm for most people in the world. As soon as they hear the term they instantly think of either bloody sacrifices, weird and evil things or teenage goths with pentagram medallions, listening to growling metal tracks. But contemporary satanism (I actually giggled a lot at this term.) is much more complex and different than those stereotypes, and the more we dig into it, the less repulsive it sounds.

Their mission, as stated on their site is that “The Satanic Temple (TST) facilitates the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty. The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people. In addition, we embrace practical common sense and justice.” 

Try to prescind from the word “Satanic”, perhaps even replace it with another one, and you will see what they wrote actually makes a lot of sense and is a rather likeable idea.

They celebrate individuality, the importance of human mind, they are restless, free spirited people. They are pragmatical, practical and take everything with a bit of scepticism. If you would meet someone like that,wouldn’t you admire that person for standing up for his/her values? Well, we surely would!

Mark Porter, the amazingly talented sculptor behind the controversial statue.
Mark Porter, the creator of dark matter. Photo: instagram.com/markjporter

 

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