Sunday, September 20, 2015


By TAHLIB, Curator
"Tower of Babel" (2015) by Barnaby Barford
Now in its 26th season, the Indianapolis Men's Chorus interprets both secular and religious music in powerful ways that promote empathy and celebration. This week, A&O co-founder, Gregory Disney-Britton, auditioned and began rehearsals as IMC's newest member. To celebrate, we acquired a bone china replica of a Christian bookstore that also serves a dual purpose. It's No. 2201 of 3,000 storefronts in "Tower of Babel" by Barnaby Barford, and it's our NEWS OF WEEK.
In other religious art news from across the USA, and around the world:
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Mark Bradford, "The Guardian" said...

They are the wallpaper of our city,” said the artist Barnaby Barford, standing in front of the 6.5-metre tower he has made of London’s shops. They spiral upwards: from tatty boarded-up off licences, chicken shops, nail bars, dry cleaners and corner mini-marts , on to fancy delicatessens, boutiques and chocolatiers; arriving finally at top auction houses and expensive contemporary art galleries.

Victoria & Albert Museum said...

A major sculptural installation created for the V&A by artist Barnaby Barford, The Tower of Babel tells an array of stories about our capital city, our society and economy, and ourselves as consumers. Standing an imposing six metres high, the Tower comprises 3000 bone china shops, each one unique, each depicting a real London shop photographed by the artist. At its base the shops are derelict, while at its pinnacle are the crème-de-la-crème of London’s exclusive boutiques and galleries.

Rob Wilkes, "We Heart" said...

Was Sunday school still a thing when you were growing up? If not you may need some help with the mythology surrounding the Tower of Babel — a yarn from the Old Testament, when God was an angry and vengeful old grump. The story goes that after God wiped out most of humanity and all but a pair of each animal in the Great Flood, the remnants of mankind (all speaking the same language) gathered together in an attempt to form a new civilisation.

Tower of Babel via Wikipedia said...

The Tower of Babel is a story told in the Book of Genesis of the Tanakh (also referred to as the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament) meant to explain the origin of different languages. According to the story, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, came to the land of Shinar. There they agreed to build a city and tower; seeing this, God confounded their speech so that they could no longer understand each other and scattered them around the world. Though not mentioned by name, the Qur'an has a story with similarities to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel, though set in the Egypt of Moses: Pharaoh asks Haman to build him a stone (or clay) tower so that he can mount up to heaven and confront the God of Moses.

Ernest Disney-Britton said...

With our walls now packed with paintings, we are moving into a "ceramics moment" for seeking ways to experience religious ideas through contemporary art. In the entry our visitors first meet the towering "Holy Ghost," an abstract black steel sculpture by Ed Hamilton (c. 1979); and a couple of year's ago we aquired a painted glass bottle of an angel and a devil by William Denton Ray which is a nice contrast with a dozen small statues of saints and deities that you can find throughout, but there isn't yet a ceramic work like the Tower of Babel to quietly command attention and prompt dialogue. Aquiring No. 2201 is a small step in that direction.

Artist: Barnaby Barford said...

I can’t believe it’s Sunday again, this blog is making the time count down even faster. So keeping with the Sunday theme here is a great example of one of my favourite types of shops. A dual purpose outlet. That’s not a very catchy way of describing it – maybe you can suggest some better ways of putting it. (comments welcome). Basically a single premises doing 2 different things. Maybe we can do that as a theme next week, so to kick off; mixing religion and commerce this bookshop and 99p shop in Walthamstow. I promise next week no more E17.