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The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nation's Millennium General Assembly
February 28, 2008 4:38 PM   Subscribe

All that glitters is not gold. In this case, it happens to be pure junk. (via)

The janitor's massive piece currently resides in the Smithsonian.
posted by flatluigi (22 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pure Junk? Only in the technical sense that it was constructed of discarded items.

To me it seems lovely, situated at a place where mysticism and mania intersect and suffused with both beauty and sadness.
posted by MasonDixon at 4:54 PM on February 28, 2008


Wow, what a neat story and what a wonderful group of sculpture. Thanks for this!
posted by luriete at 4:57 PM on February 28, 2008


Nice post!
posted by languagehat at 5:06 PM on February 28, 2008


Fantastic. I love stuff like this.

The wording of your post made me think of this poem, which I've read to my daughter many times:

Hector the Collector
(by Shel Silverstein, from the book "Where the Sidewalk Ends")

Hector the Collector
Collected bits of string,
Collected dolls with broken heads
And rusty bells that would not ring. Bent-up nails and ice-cream sticks,
Twists of wires, worn-out tires,
Paper bags and broken bricks.
Old chipped vases, half shoelaces,
Gatlin' guns that wouldn't shoot,
Leaky boasts that wouldn't float
And stopped-up horns that wouldn't toot. Butter knives that had no handles,
Copper keys that fit no locks
Rings that were too small for fingers,
Dried-up leaves and patched-up socks.
Worn-out belts that had no buckles,
'Lectric trains that had no tracks,
Airplane models, broken bottles,
Three-legged chairs and cups with cracks.
Hector the Collector
Loved these things with all his soul--
Loved them more then shining diamonds,
Loved them more then glistenin' gold.
Hector called to all the people,
"Come and share my treasure trunk!"
And all the silly sightless people
Came and looked ... and called it junk.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:14 PM on February 28, 2008 [14 favorites]


I'm vaguely reminded of Henry Darger.
posted by dd42 at 5:17 PM on February 28, 2008


Fascinating work. I love stuff like this, the kind of mental explosion that happens from time to time that reorganizes a person's whole life around the creation of something that few (if any) others can understand. Henry Darger and the Coral Castle come to mind.

But for some reason what I'm really drawn to here is his book, and the secret language he developed to write it in. Why are people who believe themselves to be in possession of special or powerful information so often compelled to conceal that information in codes and personal languages? The mind is an amazing thing.
posted by penduluum at 5:21 PM on February 28, 2008


On preview: there you go.
posted by penduluum at 5:21 PM on February 28, 2008


weird. I just saw this a week ago.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:36 PM on February 28, 2008


As a semi-aside, it's interesting this is on Fred Weaver's site. I saw him perform years ago at Brownie's in NYC (around 2000), and used a song of his in a short film. Haven't kept up with his music, but I dug what he'd done at the time. In fact, I'd completely forgotten about him, so this is not only an interesting post, but a nice reminder to check him out again! Thanks!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:30 PM on February 28, 2008


I saw some of his stuff the last time I was in DC, and it was wonderful to see it in person. Great post - thanks.
posted by rtha at 6:34 PM on February 28, 2008


Very, very nice indeed, thanks, flatluigi. [I believe that's, glisters]
posted by tellurian at 6:38 PM on February 28, 2008


"The transformation of discarded materials" -- I'm not a religious guy, and I'm not an art-studier, but that phrase summed it up for me. Beautiful.
posted by not_on_display at 6:43 PM on February 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


The four American Outsider Evangelists: Hampton. Darger, with a wee shudder. Simon Rodia, of course, but, most dear to my heart, Achilles Rizzoli. Great post, thanks.
posted by Kinbote at 6:47 PM on February 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


Nice artwork and a very intersting post. Thanks!
posted by winks007 at 7:01 PM on February 28, 2008


I can imagine certain Mythbusters suffering nervous breakdowns and starting such endless projects. Building intricate things and letting your work speak for yourself is generally a very nice way to channel the craziness.
posted by Free word order! at 7:25 PM on February 28, 2008


That's a wicked nice throne.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:40 PM on February 28, 2008


Very cool post. Thanks!
posted by Bookhouse at 7:46 PM on February 28, 2008


Anyone know where the garage was?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:53 PM on February 28, 2008


tellurian: [I believe that's, glisters]

Next you'll be telling me to address Horatio. sorry.

Pollomacho: Anyone know where the garage was?

The article says it's somewhere in Washington, DC.
posted by flatluigi at 8:08 PM on February 28, 2008


Thanks, but anyone know where in DC? I'd like to visit the place where it was put together this weekend maybe and check it out. All the article says is "a deteriorating residential neighborhood" and that could describe anywhere from Frendship Heights to Deanwood in 1964!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:15 PM on February 28, 2008


Just brilliant. Stuff discarded by others -- stuff that could overwhelm others -- transformed.
posted by maudlin at 9:00 PM on February 28, 2008


fascinating thanks
posted by patricio at 6:19 AM on February 29, 2008


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