Art Theory Criticism History Motion Stasis

Monuments from Religious to Public to Finance

Originally the most magnificent buildings were temples used for religious purposes.  The Great Pyramid of Giza, the Acropolis of Athens, and the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris are three examples that span millennia of this kind of building as the center of culture. These buildings always served the king or his religious institutions. Later with the expansion of popular rule in America and Europe the important cultural buildings became public or governmental buildings, but they still mimicked the religious buildings from before. A great example of this is the temple to Abraham Lincoln on the Mall in Washington. Now great wealth is spent on private financial institutions like banks and casinos. Banks often use the signs of the religious structures such as columns and facades. Casinos are even more obvious in their copying of the powerful religious places of the ancient world, look at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Casinos today give us the same kind of exhilaration and sense of anticipation that used to be found in a church or a temple, chance and randomness our divine experience. These are temples to our own dreams and fantasies. Where the ancient temples warning was “Know thyself,” that is no hubris before the god, the new temple calls on us to forget everything and satisfy ourselves. Are casinos monuments to urges for religious ecstasy?


February 21, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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