A billboard poster by Farangis Yegane for the Green Party against the arms race. A hot topic in the 1980ies. First the original:
“Mithraism then entered Asia Minor, especially Pontus and Cappadocia. Here it came into contact with the Phrygian cult of Attis and Cybele from which it adopted a number of ideas and practices, though apparently not the gross obscenities of the Phrygian worship.” > LINK ( http://www.newadvent.org )
“In Antiquity, the Phrygian cap had two connotations: for the Greeks as showing a distinctive Eastern influence of non-Greek “barbarism” (in the classical sense) and among the Romans as a badge of liberty. The Phrygian cap identifies Trojans such as Paris in vase-paintings and sculpture, and it is worn by the syncretic Persian saviour god Mithras and by the Anatolian god Attis who were later adopted by Romans and Hellenic cultures. The twins Castor and Pollux wear a superficially similar round cap called the pileus.” > LINK ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrygian_cap )
“While it’s true that in his earlier incarnations, especially in Zoroastrian religion, Mithras was associated with the sun, no tauroctony is ever mentioned there or anywhere in pre-Roman Mithraic legends. Nor is there even the slightest hint in Persian accounts of Mithras killing some celestial bull. How is it possible, then, to reconcile the Mithras we see in Rome with his earlier synonymous counterparts?” > LINK ( http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/ )
Romanising Oriental Gods: Myth, Salvation and Ethics in the Cults of Cybele, Isis and Mithras (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World) by Jaime Alvar and Richard Gordon, 2008, pp. 385. > LINK
The difference between the cult of the Magna Mater (Attis, Cybele) and Mithraism is the most striking in the forms of baptism. Mithraism is a symbolic myth, whereas Magna Mater is an actual orgy cult, that uses blood in their initiation rituals > LINK
You can’t really separate the the history of Mithraism from its Zoroastrian and Pre-Zoroastrian roots. Or you would end up losing the actual myth.
Speciesism in art is for a big part taxidermy in art
This site writes: “Well they are dead anyway” … http://www.ravishingbeasts.com/taxidermy-artists/
But they exactly use the dead bodies of nonhuman animals, because these animals obviously have lived before. Using a dead body is a means to gain possession in a definatory way over the de facto existential part of a living being – even when it’s dead. Obviously there is a meaning to the makers and onlookers of “taxidermic art”, otherwise they could be using their own skills to sculpt their “works of art”.
Taxidermic “art” is a way to grievously ridicule the fact that nonhuman animals are victimized by the majority of the human societies. This form of “art” stands on the side of the human speciesist majority, that is implicitly deeems to be the segment of society that has the most impactful position. Taxidermic “art” uses a dead individual’s body – a body which is the temple of every living being’s existence.
They rub into your face what they feel is “art”, to tell you something that I would sum up as: ‘Look what we can do, look what we do to the inhabitants of this world. We care, but in a destructive and derogatory way.’ Effectively this type of “art” is an attempt to shut the animal rights and the anti-speciesist movement up or warp them into absurdity, by using the rhetoric of contemporary art. An accepted visual rhetoric that gives them the means to silence all non-relativism and all moral standpoints.
This type of “art” is catering to the oppressive pattern that we have in our societies. All mainstream art does that today, but speciesist art marks the spearhead of ideological human destructiveness. Speciesist “art” seems to voluntarily or involuntarily make clear that the capacity of free thinking, that humans claim for themselves, is merely a hatred for the existential realities and the independence in the meaningfulness all other existence.
It’s always the same question of might.
Here is an interesting example of an artist doing what she calls “vegan taxidermy” : http://www.vegantaxidermy.com/. A nice and interesting artistic project.
I’ve been mentioning taxidermy in previous posts, many speciesist artists use dead animals. One the most famed ones being Bansky, who is falsely considered to be subversive, while in reality he simply goes along with mainstreamism, commercialism and the establishment http://www.farangis.de/blog/wurst.
Speciesism and some form of aesthetics, they seem to inevitably go together. This might be so because aesthetics can help give an excuse to prolong a wrong stance that one has taken, a wrong stance that one is acting up to and aware of doing so.
Speciesism comprises the conscious element of violence and active or witnessed (onlooker-) brutality towards a nonhuman animal or nonhuman animals in general.
The consciousness in brutality in speciesism often get aestheticized by putting the act of violence in the frame of doing something supposedly noble, dignified, heroic, “cool”, smartly provocative.
Aesthetics can normally also be a part of a momentum that breaks any chain of self-deception, and be a vehicle to relate to the experienced world. The sense of aesthetics isn’t something value-free, it’s something that depends on the motivations in an onlooker or an artist.
Does the aesthetical understanding in a person seek to rectify her actions and worldview only, and is thus just a means to an end? Or is the sense of aesthetics really the sense of connecting to the outer real world that’s being perceived?
I can relate to the world in a destructive form through the will to destroy and demean it, and I can relate to the world by seeing what is really there.