Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Point of Impact

00 'Byzantine' Fashion. Blasphemy. 06.03.13


Some time ago, the public saw the new collection from famous fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana. They based it on Byzantine (New Roman) church art, including faces of the Virgin and the saints from icons, and holy Christian symbols serving as accessories and jewellery. We saw large crosses like those worn by bishops and other ecclesiastical regalia located below the belt of models, images of saints were painted on heels or on the genital area of clothing.

The reaction of the fashion world was quite subdued… critics accused the designers of lacking novelty and of using an overly-literal depiction of religious images. In fact, for a long time, the world of pop culture and show business has been accustomed to the frequent use of the sacred Christian symbols… jewellery in the form of a cross and pop divas prancing about in nun’s habits are quite commonplace. In addition, frankly satanic symbols are common in mass pop culture; it’s become a huge industry. Inverted crosses, pentagrams, and all the trappings of Satanism are an integral part of the subculture, including a subgroup of aesthetes associated with a cult of drugs and getting high, found in a wide range of rock music… from the psychedelic to the so-called “metal”.

Because Dolce and Gabbana toyed with Christian symbols in their fashion designs presented to the public, one could call it an exercise in sophisticated anti-Christian mass culture… was it just ordinary bourgeois boredom… was it even a kind of perverted “return to tradition?” However, this event is much more significant than just another attempt to put sacred Christian symbols into the mass industry of show business, for modern people have forgotten their true meaning. It shows the actual state of Western civilisation, which is post-Christian, or, rather, anti-Christian, and its idiosyncratic nature. We could describe this condition as “the point of impact”. In artillery jargon, this term refers to the point where a projectile hits the ground. In the current socio-cultural situation, we can talk about the final convergence of two vectors… mass culture and avant garde élite culture. These vectors mutually influence each other; they act as mutual catalysts, heightening their mutual velocities, leading modern civilisation into the abyss of rebellion.

The so-called modern élite culture includes contemporary art, rock music, and experimental cinema; it was and is a laboratory of mass culture, a factory for the development of meanings and images used by the fashion, entertainment, and advertising industries. This esoteric laboratory tests the readiness of the public conscience to accept new meanings and images. This testing takes place in the form of the removal of all conceivable constraints of traditional consciousness by levelling and destroying all its forms, especially religious ones.

The successive erasure of cultural memory, of the civilisational memory of God, accompanied by the destruction of religious codes has cultivated decomposition as an art form; it’s the source of the piles of money earned by the producers of mass culture. Fact is, this product, like any other, has its marketing and sales laws. That is, the person consuming it would then need to experience this again and again, thus, ensuring the reproduction. However, one doesn’t approach grounded and knowledgeable individuals (уцеломудренный), rather, one appeals to ciphers with a broken and disjointed will, because popular culture is addressed not to grounded and knowledgeable individuals with individual will, instead, it appeals to those who’ve subsumed their individuality in subordination to the zeitgeist.

Thus, popular culture has two successive and interrelated objectives… to dismember the human person, to excite their easily-aroused psychophysical instincts (e.g., sexual or of destructive urges), to spur them to act on them impulsively. Algorithms for working this equation were developed in the laboratory of avant garde culture and contemporary art. This contains a deeper meaning, a kind of anti-sacrament in contemporary art. If the Christian sacrament intends to bring reconciliation to a human soul soiled by sin, then, this anti-sacrament aims to bring about a complete destruction of the soul, taking something meant to be solid, smashing it, and scattering it to the winds.

To trace the basic trajectory of modern culture briefly, to recognise this laboratory in which, in particular, the anti-Christian strategy of mass culture germinates, it’s necessary to mention some figures that blazed its paths. They came from the radical wing of contemporary art, they founded the “trend”, which is moving (and which will move in the foreseeable future) modern civilisation. Of these radicals, in the first place, one could mention a member of the so-called “Vienna Actionism“, Georg Nietzsche, who exhibited his “work” in Moscow a few years ago. Mobile and fixed exhibitions from his Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries were supposedly illustrations of the Gospel events and use Christian symbols, including a crucifix submerged in a terrible and bloody bacchanal of naked body parts portraying an unbridled orgy. He used both artificial and real blood; he butchered animals and birds. This eerie pagan mystery went far beyond good and evil, being a demonstration of extreme satanic possession, in which the human form is completely lost.

In addition, one can’t fail to notice the activities of other known “artist” Oliviero Toscani, who works mostly in the genre of postmodern photography, often used in advertising. His photographs are widely used as advertising images; a clothing company used images that depicted Catholic priests kissing nuns. The advertisement was posted in Rome near the Vatican City walls, which resulted in a major scandal, which led, in turn, to a sharp increase in sales. This situation, by the way, in many ways illustrates the relationship of contemporary art and pop culture; it only stipulates that anti-Christian themes successfully work on the flywheel of mass production industry.

Most often, the objects of attack by “contemporary art” are the most holy and sacred symbols of Christianity, including the crucifixion. Blasphemous images of the Lord on the cross are a favourite “satire” of postmodernists, such as the image of a drunken crucified frog, with a beer in one paw and an egg in the other (Martin Kippenberg), or a series of photos of crucifixes immersed in glass cups filled with urine (Andres Serrano). It’s impossible not to mention the recent events that took place in Moscow and some other Russian cities. This was a series of exhibitions with a controversial anti-Christian theme and protest actions in some churches {that is, Pussy Riot was profoundly WESTERN; it had NO Russian roots whatsoever: editor}. It only exists on the periphery of our civilisational vector; however, post-Soviet contemporary culture repeats the verities of the West in the 60’s.

Thus, the glamorous, but no less blasphemous, collection of Dolce and Gabbana is an extension of and a watershed in the general anti-Christian vector of apostasy in the development of modern civilisation. Pop culture, which includes the world of fashion, draws techniques, meanings, and images from the laboratory of avant garde culture; it reproduces them, turning them into a well-packaged consumer product. Reproduced with stunning accuracy, one sees that the images of Christian art no longer inhabit a sacred space; one doesn’t even recognise them as relics of a bygone European culture. Now, they’re nothing more than scattered fragments, shards that lost their lost meaning, ghosts whispering of the existence of a dead European Christian civilisation. This posthumous existence of culture, revealed to us by two fluky sodomites, should finally lead us to an understanding of our place in the world and of our Christian cultural mission. In the final analysis, the death of Christian culture is our common problem; one can only say with bitterness the words of King David… The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God (Psalm 13.1).


Click on the URL below, the original Russian post has more images of this “creative” designer’s work…


6 March 2013

Andrei Yakhnin



Editor’s Note:

I’ll simply say this… the Left is more profoundly conservative in a real sense than any of the Righties are. The Right trumpets individualism and anarchic shrugging off of all limits (that’s what laissez-faire economics is all about). The Left says, “We’re in this together; we have to share what’s there”. There are more believers amongst communists in Russia than there are amongst pro-Western crapitalists. Reflect on that. Gennady Zyuganov was right… Christ WAS the first communist, and if we wish to have a godly and moral society, it basis MUST be rooted in socialism, not godless grasping crapitalism. ‘Nuff said…



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