Dashboard Jesus for Spaceship Earth

By: Peggy Nelson
November 15, 2010

[Jesus in pieces, Swiebodzin, Poland, 2010]

Brazil has just dropped into second place in the larger-than-life-size knickknack race. Topping out at approximately 118 feet tall from sandal to crown (estimates vary from 108 to 167 feet, as some include the mount he stands upon, and some exclude the crown), Jesus of Swiebodzin, Poland reaches just that much closer heavenward than previous world champion Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, whose estimates range from 98 to 131 feet, if you include the pedestal. Neither estimate takes into account distance from sea level, although perhaps they should.

[Knickknack comparison, The Guardian online]

Given its northern European location, it is appropriate that the linear severity of this Jesus takes its art-historical cue from Gothic sculpture, looking not unlike a medieval Virtue trampling a hapless Vice.

[Virtues trampling Vices in alcoves, Strasbourg Cathedral, the world’s tallest building from 1647 to 1874]

But there’s big, and then there’s big. Unlike the Great Wall of China, Swiebodzin Jesus cannot be seen from space.

[Great Wall of China visible by satellite]

But if you take him down a dimension, you can increase his reach: one could revert to 2D and *draw Jesus, or at least an ἰχθύς in outline, over a continent with GPS.

[Fish (just *a fish, not *that fish), GPS drawing, Jeremy Wood and Hugh Pryor, 2000]

And we should not rule out delegating ambitious iconography to our robot subcontractors. If Project M makes it to the moon, just a few tweaks of the software and “digging for moon rocks” can morph into art; M might set to carving selenic bas-reliefs like a certain obsessive medieval stonemason . . .

[Goldmund on the moon, artistic rendering, NASA]


Sculpture, Spectacles