The essay below was written in 2010 for what was an on-line "gallery" of new works. The images that had been featured in that gallery are now in other "galleries" on this site and included one of my last paintings ever, which had been completed at the beginning of 2010. Throughout 2010 I was busily preparing my new series of paintings. 13 were drawn onto canvas by the end of 2010 (the drawing for one of these works appears above left), and painting was to begin in 2011. However, the Australian judicary had other ideas. In 2011 a bizarre law-suit was brought against me by the owner of the "gallery" (a "gallery" only in name) in which my works were exhibited in 2009. This "gallery" and its owner who knew nothing of art, art history or theory, objected to the works I exhibited and proceded to attack the integrity of my work, my honour and reputation which are protected by the legal right known as "Moral Rights", defined in the Berne Convention in 6bis (and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - ICESCR). The judiciary assisted the "gallery" with this law-suit which had no basis in law, a suit which included in its claims against me the fact that I, who is of Greek background, had used Greek words written in Greek script in parts of my 2009 exhibition. A complaint has been made to the Human Rights Commission in Geneva over the Australian judiciary, which can be found on www.redlegvartists.com.
The problem for Australia's judiciary is that Australia is signatory to the aforementioned covenants and has intoroduced laws based on them into domestic law. Nevertheless Australia's judges preferred to ignore the law and their obligations under law just to side with the "gallery".
Their actions have left me without a studio, and there exists the very real prospect of jail for "scandalisation", a form of contempt-of-court, for writing about the scandal the judicary has brought on itself by its own actions.
The digital photomontage, above right, is a recent piece and is part of a new anti-judical theme in my art.
The drawing, above left, is thematically linked to the 2010 essay below ...
Δημήτριος Βακράς 2020
|The works presented in this "new" section are some years old now - most having been created in 2004, with some finished early in 2005. (More recently in 2010 I added one painting finished in 2009.)
Since then I have been largely preoccupied with reading vast tracts of what our ancestors have written, taking notes & making commentary. Whether it is realised or not, our human achievement is currently at a cross-roads, as it was after Constantine converted to Christianity; when the Roman empire adopted Christianity as its official faith, and as a consequence the Classical world came to be disemboweled. Theodosius closed down the Sarapeum in Alexandria, and in Greece, the Sacred Oak of Dios (Zevs) at Dodona was closed down. This was the intolerance that was to come.
Centuries earlier, when the Dorian invaders overthrew the Mycenaean civilization of Greece a new representation of Dios (Zevs) came about; his symbol was the trident. Hesiod, in his Theogony, tells us that his power lay in the 3 manifestations of the storm: the lightning bolt, lightning flash, and the sound of thunder. This figure of the trident wielding god appeared from Greece through Anatolia and Syria. In addition, in antiquity divinity was represented by the wearing of the bull-horns: symbol of the crescent moon. It meant that the god was the master of the heavens. The Greek Dios (Zevs), as per Hesiod, was the god of Order, Righteousness and Reason, having created them from Chaos.
With Christianity, all that once represented good was rendered a representation of evil, and all that was once considered bad, became good. For Paul, the Greeks worshipped demons, not gods (1 Corinthians 10:20). The symbols of the trident-wielding, divine figure of God (Zevs), was inverted by the Christians to became a monster, the symbol of the Devil, of unspeakable evil. In the Latin West the old Greek component of Roman civilization was obliterated, thanks largely to Augustine (considered by Catholics to be a "saint"). In the Greek east the Christian was merged with the Greek philosophical past in a syncretist reinterpretation of Christianity. (It was this Greek Byzantine version, via Greek philosophers from Mistra - like Gemistos Plethon, and John Argyropoulos - that the birth of the Renaissance in Florence was able to come about; before the Turks reduced Mistra, Greece's Florence, into an abandoned wilderness.)
From England, Boniface traveled to Germany, to expunge the Germans of their syncretist version of Christianity. His most notable achievement was the tearing down of the Sacred Oak of Donnar (or Thonnar, who came to later be known as "Thor"). The most notable consequence was that Germany, via the efforts of Boniface, was introduced to absolute intolerance. The Oak of Donnar was destroyed (as had been the Greek oak at Dodona) because the Old Testament demands that the altars to other gods be demolished lest they become "a thorn in one's side". The Old Testament also forbade astrology, & "sorcery". In the New Testament, the Jews were deemed to have been responsible for the "murder" of the Christian's prophet. Germans went from destroying the pagan places of worship, to expunging heretics & "infidel", (those who denied Jesus, for example, Jews), and "witches" (hexen). Boniface's greatest achievement lies, then, in the eventual Holocaust undertaken by Hitler in the 20th Century AD. Boniface, an intolerant abomination, is remembered as the "patron apostle" of the Germans.
Much has been destroyed - but in the "west" many focus on a past they are aware of and infer, from the ignorance of what they do not know, that perhaps not tolerating intolerance is simply a manifestation of their old Christian values that would make them as intolerant as were their ancestors in the past. Hence Islam the religion of misanthropy rages because it is simpler to remain ignorant and apathetic in the hope that it might just go away.
Muslims destroyed the Library(ies) in Alexandria at c. AD 641-649; in Persia the Muslims demolished the Zoroastrian "horn-temples", (as recorded in Arab chronicles) and the Persian capital Ctesiphon, (as massive as its contemporary, the city of Byzantium) was obliterated; the Roman Christians (Catholics) destroyed the Byzantine Libraries in 1204. History is about to repeat itself, if we choose to ignore it.
It is rather pointless to draw and paint as if the world ill-winds are going to blow over. This is not going to happen. It won't simply go away by our simply ignoring it. If we believe that we have the right to think independently, accept or reject belief in god independently, and that we have the right to articulate our ideas in images or in words, (symbolic thought), then all these are assailed by Islam. Armed with the technologies our society(ies) have created, Islam's antipathy to our collective values is seeking to destroy us. If we cherish our freedom to think independently , we have to make a stance. Any one who thinks that Islam is a force of good is indulging a self delusion.
site & its
contents © demetrios vakras