Friday, August 31, 2012

RNC Diary, Part Three: Unintentional Art.

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Audrey Flack, "Veritas et Justitia"

Lady Justice stands ten feet tall, and to put it impolitely, she weighs a ton. A sculpture by Audrey Flack, titled "Veritas et Justitia" (Truth and Justice"  atop a pedestal in front of our 13th Judicial Courthouse. Made of gilded bronze, and in a skimpy, sheer outfit that would probably get her arrested anywhere in downtown Tampa, she greets every visitor and employee reminding them of what goes on inside the building. Note there are no scales in her hands, she is the living embodiment of the scale & weighs things freehand. She wears a very see-through looking veil, too. With the 15,000 protesters predicted, fearing they would strive to somehow overcome the 4,000 policemen on the streets, the 8 ft. tall fence, and the guys with the M-16s standing inside and harm Lady Justice, the City unintentionally created a meaningful installation.

City of Tampa, "Justice Protected"

They made an XXXL wooden box (or coffin) for Justice to defend her from those who would not attack her, a perfect metaphor for the militarization and fencing in of the City. Maybe a little ham-fisted in concept, the irony here is hard to miss. To the City's credit, they thoughtfully made Ms. Justice's coffin two-toned. Beautiful. Maybe small bronze replicas could be sold at the City Gift Shop in the Museum near the real Convention Center.

When I took the photograph at left through a break between two sections of fencing (after waiting for the armed guards to walk by on patrol), maybe it was the tension, heat and humidity, but I could have sworn I heard muffled cries from inside the box.

--- Luis

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