The art piece well known as the upside-down church, originally unveiled at the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1997, “Device to Root Out Evil” by New York artist Dennis Oppenheim is start to dismantled today follow by the Vancouver Park Board commissioners decision. It will be resurrected by the Glenbow Museum, Calgary.
Vancouverites weren’t only one to make complaints about it. It was too controversial for New York City, too much for Stanford university, they didn’t want the controversial sculpture on its ground. The art piece was placed in Harbour Green Park on Cordova Street as part of the Vancouver Biennale Sculpture Festival in 2005. After 2 1/2 years, Residents of the Coal Harbour neighbourhood complained that the more than six-metre-tall (and wide) statues blocked their scenic view. Other residents said it simply offended their Christian beliefs to see a church turned upside-down. The Park Board agreed.
Personally, as one of ordinary with no art background, little knowledge and bad taste, I loved how the sculpture stands and with highlighted red color with every background from different angles. It was really interesting piece of sculpture and I instantly felt the sculpture holding Earth on its bell tower from the ground viewpoint.
Can’t say much about complaints on blocking views but as someone said high-rise condominiums seem to block water more than one piece of sculpture. And was it really against Christian beliefs? I don’t know… but I do believe the art doesn’t need to be politically correct in any form.
“It left as it arrived,…” as article noted.