09 November 2006


Bill Benzon at The Valve gets to thinking about graffiti.
If I had been well-informed about the current state of graffiti I would not have regarded the images I recently blundered into as objects of wonder. I would have known what and perhaps even why they were and thought nothing more of them. Thus I would have been unable to see that I had found a shrine to the spirit of the triceratops. To me it would have just been a large and interesting painting (actually, a “piece”) in a strange location, strange because it is out-doors and thus unprotected, and hidden from public view as well. What sort of artist deliberately does good work in a place where no one will see it?
Am I serious in calling this The Shrine of the Triceratops? Yes and no. No, I have no reason to believe that religious rites are performed here, or that there is any explicit religious doctrine, oral or textual, associated with this site. Yes, in that the triceratops image embodies the spirit of this site, and this site is an important one for some unidentified community that I know only through evidence such as that in these few photographs.

I have selected these particular photos from some 400 or 500 that I’ve taken of 10s of pieces, and 100s of tags and throw-ups on some 30 or 40 columns. These few words and images only begin to convey a sense of the richness of this site.

When similar materials are found in remote places of the earth they treated as evidence of attitudes and beliefs of the highest significance to the people who made them. The fact that these markings and paintings exist in one of the most densely populated regions on the planet in the penumbra of one of its wealthiest and most sophisticated cities, that fact changes nothing ...

There are some lovely photographs.

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