In case you missed it, an invisible sculpture by Italian artist Salvatore Garau recently sold for $18,000. In the words of the artist, “the sculpture is intended to be displayed in a 5×5 foot square… even if you can’t see it, it does exist, just not in material form.” The name of the nonexistent art piece? “I am.”
The buyer feels it’s a good investment as there will be future buyers of beautiful invisible masterpieces. The question is, what the was the seller thinking. Seems a bit risky introducing artwork that no one can appreciate and, other than his certificate of authenticity, everyone can replicate.
It’s art because he says it’s art, and he’s hoping people buy into that, thus establishing it as art.
A modern-day example of the emperor without clothes.
The past few decades and specifically the past few years has seen an ever-growing movement of rephrasing words, terms and descriptions so that they can be used to obtain power and at times for the exact opposite. Words like peace, gender, activism, diversity, public safety and parenthood are freely used to promote war, lust, vandalism, cancel culture, control and ending the life an unborn child.
It’s starting to seem that falsehood isn’t a means to an end, it’s the end itself. Once there’s no longer an objective starting point for language and ideas, then all that’s needed is a great PR team to repackage it for the masses to follow. Consider – almost all current discussion on these topics were at the extreme fringe a mere 5 years ago.
Indeed, this isn’t something new – Communist Russia had a monster propaganda machine that literally controlled the information its citizens were able to consume. They also had a newspaper promulgating their approved information. Its name? “Pravda”, truth.
This isn’t to say that as Yidden we need to call out every falsehood we see being promoted. We do however need to have utmost conviction when pushing back against these frauds in areas affecting our ability to learn Torah and fulfill Hashem’s Mitzvos.
The above also connects to man’s original falsehood; the world doesn’t have a creator. This was worded with layers of sophisticated philosophical ideas which nevertheless don’t address the basic question -where did the first cause come from. This lie had the same benefits as today; it removed objective responsibility from the individual so that they may pursue cannibalism, selfishness, power and control over others.
As descendants of Avraham Avinu, the first light unto the nations, who went against the false G-ds of his time, we need to continue carrying the torch of truth showing the world the beauty of the eternal nation of Israel whose glory will rise one final time with the coming of our righteous redeemer.
This Sunday, Gimmel Taamuz, marks the Yahrtzeit of the light of Israel, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. It is an auspicious time to add in Torah, Tefilla & Tzedakah specifically having in mind that this should hasten the final redemption, when the world will be filled with the light of the Creator, for all to see.
Wishing you a wonderful and meaningful Shabbos,