04/14/2015 10:51 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017



Pedestalization is tantamount to idealization and it's an inhibiting factor that patients are wont to discuss with their therapists. Treating every woman like a Veinous (a la Titian's Venus and Adonis) is one example of the kind of malapropism that can occur. Conrad's Fart of Harkness is another example what can happen when pedestalization goes awry. Kurtz's famed words "The horror! The horror!" might readily be applied. The apostle Paul's Epistles are another example of the kind of tongue twister that can result from pedestalization. Any person who sits on a toilet undergoes a form of pedestalization, since most toilets sit on pedestals. Some may think of sitting on a toilet as satisfying a base function, but when you consider the pedestal that underlies every toilet bowl you begin to look at buttocks like the Hope Diamond sitting on a pedestal in a jewelry showroom. Look at Rodin's The Thinker. He's sitting on a pedestal which could easily be a toilet, n'est ce pas? We elevate the sculpture because it's art, but the average person looks just like him when they take a shit. The awe we feel when we look at the sculpture results from the pantheon of the high and low. Consciousness is what separates mankind from other species and here in a great work of art Rodin places his Thinker on a pedestal while reducing him to a creature who is prey to the demands of his animal self.

photo of Rodin's The Thinker by Andrew Horne

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}