|What is a monumental monument really about?|
||Student: ||Unhappy the land that breeds no hero.
|Galileo: ||No. Unhappy the land that needs a hero.|
|(Bertolt Brecht, Galileo) |
|"Monumentality" comes from the Latin verb: monere: "to remind" --
but also to warn.|
|The monumental monument supposedly reminds us of what
it is dedicated to. Examples: The National World War II Memorial
is supposed to remind us of the Americans who fought, suffered and died in World War II. The Lincoln Memorial
is supposed to remind us of Abraham Lincoln.|
|But change the dedication and the monumental monument could be "about"
just about any "big event". It is like an abstract picture
that you don't know what it's about unless you read the title.
|What does the monumental monument
remind us of, if we just look at what it is?|
|The monument's monumentality reminds us of Power: The Power that could
command the building of such a big ("imposing") edifice.|
|The dedication directs us to imagine instead that all that Power
belongs to what/whom the monumental monument is dedicated to.|
|The dedication encourages us to imagine we can be "powerful" by
participating in Power -- by obeying it just like those to whom the monument is
dedicated obeyed (and suffered and died...) before us.|
|The power to obey is only the "power" to suffer.
|The monumental monument "inspires" us into
wanting to suffer for Power.
|If we identify with the
we feel "uplifted"; if we look at what the monumental monument really tells us, we feel intimidated,
since the same Power that raised such an impressive building
could come down on us.
|Therefore the monumental monument needs to be dedicated -- dedicated to anything but
what it is really dedicated to: imposing on ("inspiring") us to want to subject ourselves to
and suffer for the even further empowerment of Power over us.|
|"It's not a civilized situation; it's a heroic one."|
|(quote out of