Baphomet (sculpture)

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Baphomet
TST-baph-statue.jpg
Baphomet unveiled in Detroit, Michigan[1]
ArtistMark Porter, sculptor[2]
Year2015 (2015)
MediumBronze sculpture
SubjectBaphomet
Dimensions2.6 m (100 in)
Weight3,000 pounds[3]
LocationSalem, Massachusetts
WebsiteSalem Art Gallery

Baphomet is a bronze sculpture commissioned by The Satanic Temple depicting the goat-headed, angel-winged icon. First unveiled in Detroit in 2015, the statue stands 8.5 feet (2.6 m) tall and features a prominent pentagram as well as two smiling youth gazing up at the seated central figure. Public display of the piece, or the mere suggestion of its display, has been a key element of Satanic Temple actions advocating the separation of church and state.

Origins[edit]

The Satanic Temple began an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign in 2014 to create a Satanic monument depicting Baphomet and two children, with the intention to display this monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol.[4] The group's fundraising efforts aimed at erecting the statue in response to the Ten Commandments Monument installed by Oklahoma State Representative Mike Ritze in 2012.[4] Artist Mark Porter forged the sculpture in Florida[5] using the drawing by Eliphas Levi as a basis for Baphomet.[6]

Public unveiling[edit]

The piece was first seen publicly on 25 July 2015 at an event organized by the Detroit chapter of The Satanic Temple, amidst protests by religious organizations.[7][8][9] The 700 attendees at the unveiling ceremony had to "sell their souls to Satan" in order to receive a ticket, a tactic that the Temple stated was done in order to "keep away some of the more radical superstitious people who would try to undermine the event."[1][10]

Time noted that "the group does not 'promote a belief in a personal Satan.' By their logic, Satan is an abstraction, ... 'a literary figure, not a deity — he stands for rationality, for skepticism, for speaking truth to power, even at great personal cost.' Time also commented on the statue's unveiling, writing "Call it Libertarian Gothic, maybe — some darker permutation of Ayn Rand's crusade for free will. One witnesses in The Satanic Temple militia a certain knee-jerk reaction to encroachments upon personal liberties, especially when those encroachments come with a crucifix in hand. The Baphomet statue is the Satanic Temple’s defiant retort du jour."[10]

Oklahoma State Capitol actions[edit]

Initially commissioned to be installed alongside the Ten Commandments outside the Oklahoma State Capitol, The Satanic Temple offered to donate Baphomet for display on the Capitol grounds. After litigation of Prescott v. Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission concluded with a State Supreme Court order to remove the Ten Commandments monument, the Satanic Temple withdrew their request to place Baphomet on Oklahoma public property.[11]

Arkansas State Capitol actions[edit]

The statue was displayed on a flatbed truck parked in front of the Arkansas State Capitol building for several hours on 16 August 2018 for an event organized in protest of the Ten Commandments Monument on the Arkansas Capitol grounds.[12][13][14] After a formal request to install Baphomet was refused, in violation of the right to equal protection, Satanic Temple members were granted legal standing to challenge the Ten Commandments monument.[15]

References in popular culture[edit]

The Satanic Temple sued Netflix in November 2018 over usage of a likeness of the statue in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.[16] The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed financial sum and The Satanic Temple being given credit for the statue in future broadcasts.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Inside the Satanic Temple's Secret Baphomet Monument Unveiling". VICE. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  2. ^ Satanic Temple monument
  3. ^ Baphomet at the Salem Art Gallery
  4. ^ a b "Put a Satanic Monument at OK Capitol". Indiegogo. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  5. ^ Here Are the Latest Photos of the Satanic Statue Being Made for Oklahoma’s Statehouse Jonathan Smith, Vice News, December 12, 2014.
  6. ^ Sculpting Satan: A Chat With America’s Most Controversial Artist Observer August 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Reuters (2015-07-27). "Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Sculpture In Detroit". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-04-29.
  8. ^ lemonde.fr. "Le Temple satanique de Détroit dévoile son imposante statue de Baphomet". Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Protesters: Don't turn Detroit over to Satanists". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  10. ^ a b Jenkins, Nash. "Hundreds Gather for Unveiling of Satanic Statue in Detroit". TIME.com. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  11. ^ Satanic Temple: Campaigns
  12. ^ "Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol". Snopes. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  13. ^ "Satanic temple sparks uproar by unveiling statue of goat-headed, winged creature called Baphomet in Arkansas state capitol". The Independent. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  14. ^ "USNews".
  15. ^ Satanic Temple cleared to enter the 10 Commandments lawsuit Arkansas Times December 18, 2018.
  16. ^ "The Satanic Temple is suing Netflix for $50 million, alleging 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' copied its statue of a goat-headed deity and implied it was evil". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  17. ^ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-netflix-satanic-temple/satanic-temple-settles-lawsuit-over-sabrina-goat-headed-deity-idUSKCN1NQ2L4