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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007
    Icons for some times
    Thanks Jonny for the tip-off about Oleg Ikona whose contemporary icons remind me so much of Peter Murphy's Rock Icons, which have often graced these pages.

    The artist keenly desires to announce that "the time of new iconography, the time of assembling of the global transcendent, appropriate for the consciousness renovated by the technological revolution, has come."

    He goes on (in a way which makes sense if you read it closely), "The conditional character of the borders allows value carriers to move freely from one cultural area to another. The carriers come into collision, correct and subordinate each other, creating communicative, free from local phobias plane in which national and continental fetishes of different configurations exist together."

    I was fascinated to note that in this project to announce the breaking down of borders through new technologies, he chooses The Beatles and Liverpool's century-old waterfront of Empire as his iconic figures. Of course half a century ago The Beatles and their peers were melting boundaries in music by bringing the underground sounds of Black America to the youth of provincial Britain; and a century and more ago Liverpool's burgeoning trade in cotton and slaves was similarly stretching the transglobal economy into previously unknown shapes. But I'd not have chosen either as icons of our times, myself, from where I'm standing.

    Nevertheless, a fascinating project (and thanks again Jonny for the big pics). I'm just left a little disturbed by this image in which our two cathedrals and the Liver Buildings appear to be slowly sinking into a Mersey marshalled by what looks terribly like a Trident submarine.