Thursday, April 15, 2010

Event Horizon, or Watchers over Manhattan (UPDATE)

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I first heard about the Event Horizon sculpture display on Red Ice:
...27 naked men, all anatomically correct, have been bolted to rooftops and ledges as part of installation Event Horizon.

But concerned locals have been calling 911 because they believed the statues, by British artist Antony Gormley, are real people on the verge of jumping off the buildings.
But it turns out that the exhibit was brought to New York from London:
The source of this wacky and impressive project, titled “Event Horizon,” is the British sculptor Antony Gormley, a 1994 Turner Prize winner known for his abstractions of the human body, usually his own. Invited by the Madison Square Park Conservancy and Madison Square Art, which commissions seasonal artist installations in the park, Gormley outdid himself by setting the figures, all cast from his own 6-feet-2-inch body in rusted iron or fiberglass, in places no one expects — on rooftop parapets and sidewalks around the park.
The Guardian dropped an interesting popcult reference in their review of the English installation, referencing a race of alien robots:
Gormley's mute figures appear oblivious to one another. Like Cybermen from Doctor Who, they are total strangers to the spontaneous gesture, to a look or a smile. Isolation and insulation are among the leitmotifs of Gormley's sculpture. However much they appear as watchers on the skyline, their mentality is one of totemic inwardness.
The Cybermen hailed from Mondas, Earth's twin and the one-time 10th planet of the Solar System. Bruce Rux- are you reading this?

But Event Horizon- whose very name is rife with cosmic portent- is not some boring exercise in modern art navel-gazing. Antony Gormley has claimed that a trip to the ancient civilization wings of the British Museum are his primary inspiration, citing the Assyrian winged bullmen and Ramses in this video interview.


But it's the "watchers" reference in the Guardian review that is the linchpin, at least for my purposes. Gormley's work is filled with angel imagery, and it seems that Event Horizon is inspired- at least subconsciously- by iconic images like this from Wim Wender's classic film Wings of Desire (1987), a story that ties into the Watcher and "fallen angel" mythology from the Bible and the Apocrypha.


A connection that is doubly fascinating, given the fact that Gormley's watchers look like angels whose wings have been torn away.

Philip Coppens has written on the Watchers, saying they are "in the Bible, where, in Genesis 6:1-4, they are listed as the sons of Gods who “fell” for the Earthly women, descended from heaven, chose women, and had children." The Watchers have since been incorporated in UFO lore, particularly in the Christian UFO sub-subculture. Others see the Watchers as a race of alien robots (there's that watcher-Cybermen link again) - or Igigi, if you like.

Doctor Manhattan, the naked Watcher

But there's an even more fascinating connection, given the Cybermen sync in the Guardian review. Coppens goes on to trace the Watchers back to Sumer, citing the controversial writings of Zechariah Sitchin, no stranger himself to 10th planet musings :
They first appear on the scene in Sumer. “Shumer”, it seems, literally means the “Land of the Watchers”. For the American author Zecharia Sitchin, they are alien beings whose specific task is to orbit the earth, monitoring events on Earth. For Sitchin, the Watchers are not a “race” or a “species”, they are merely a “job specification”. Their colleagues had abandoned their ships and had landed on Earth – they continued to orbit the Earth. Those who did land, either mated or genetically engineered Mankind into its present form. As a consequence, Mankind worshiped the Watchers as gods.

Carl Sagan once remarked that we still have no clear perspective about the origins of the Sumerian culture: “Their language is foreign; it shows no resemblance to Indo-European, Semitic or any other language. We can only map them by the actions of their successors, the Akkadians, who created a voluminous Sumerian-Akkadian dictionary.”

Gormley created this enormous sculpture, the "Angel of the North" (soon to be accompanied by the "Goddess of the North"), located in Gateshead, England. What caught my eye is that Gateshead borders the town of Washington, which gave America's first president -and most famous Freemason- his surname.


A connection which takes on added resonance given the fact that one of the statues in the English Event Horizon display was installed at Freemason's Hall, aka The Grand Lodge of England. Note the Blazing Star of Sirius.


The connections don't stop there- one of the statues in New York is installed at the Empire State Building on 33rd Street, and the Madison Square neighborhood hosts the Grand Lodge of New York aka "St. John's Lodge."

How about that?

But this isn't just any old Grand Lodge - it houses the Washington Bible, used to this day for Presidential Inaugurations (and there's that Washington link again):
St. John's Lodge, originally chartered in 1757, is the oldest operating Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of New York. St. John's Lodge is the owner of what is now known as the George Washington Inaugural Bible. On April 30, 1789 it was upon this Bible that George Washington took his oath of office as the first President of the United States.
There's also a large obelisk in the neighborhood as well.


What interests me more than that though are little details like this- one of the Event Horizon statues facing the Empire State obelisk Building and the MetLife obelisk Tower but also that Monolith-looking building in the middle there, an eerie lookalike for the Millennium Hilton, aka the "Monolith Hotel."


Or the news story linking the installation to "The Gates"...


...and the waterfall at the Brooklyn Bridge. All of these installations seem to have interesting semiotic resonance below the surface, tying into popcult themes we've explored on The Secret Sun...


Such as this installation Gormley created at the spiral staircase in St. Paul's Cathedral in London.


I guess then it's a sync within itself that this illustration popped up when I was poking around the web for images of Watchers. I wonder if Gormley has seen this one as well.

UPDATE: A reader points us to this fascinating advertisement. Remember that Cupid/Eros was often identified with Harpocrates.


  1. Another very good post Chris. I really like this one.

    Here are a few comments to relate to angels.

    "Angles Are Angels" - Sacred Geometry of the Great Architect of the Universe.

    It should be noted that the word "English", literally means, Angel-man. The word ANGEL is, in turn, derived from the word ANGLE. This is an extremely strong point to realize, as the whole power of the hypnotic trance working through the illusory body of humanity is based on the sacred geometry and the angles, or angels used, to develop the religious and scientific 3 dimensional space we exist in. There is actually no such thing as a spirit entity or an angel. The spirits that do appear to people from time to time, are only illusions, even as we, the physical person, are simply illusions. These illusions are actually there in a fake 3D sense, but they’re not spirit entities, other than that they’re illusory THOUGHT PATTERNS creating an IMAGE. They’re just hypnotic based manipulations of light, a thought forms. There are only subliminal hypnotic suggestions, combined with geometric based formulas, incantations, chants, hymns, meditations, etc. Through this exercise, what is conjured up, is the illusion of a spirit, or magic. This is the basis of kabbalism, the Tree of Life, or, in more clear terms, HYPNOTIC MIND CONTROL.

  2. As usual, I trully enjoyed your post Chris, I still read your blog but post seldomsly because I just don't understand the world we're moving into,
    If I have time I'll drop by the central bank of Milano and take pictures of the Swastika that are carved all around it, It seems I'm the only one who noticed them.. Even my milanese friend never knew there was such a symbol binding the central italian money house.

    take care and keep up the good workd


  3. Watcher of the skies watcher of all
    His is a world alone no world is his own,
    He whom life can no longer surprise,
    Raising his eyes beholds a planet unknown.

    Creatures shaped this planets soil,
    Now their reign has come to an end,
    Has life again destroyed life,
    Do they play elsewhere, do they know
    More than their childhood games?
    Maybe the lizards shed its tail,
    This is the end of mans long union with earth.

    Judge not this race by empty remains
    Do you judge God by his creatures when they are dead?
    For now, the lizards shed its tail
    This is the end of mans long union with earth.

    From life alone to life as one,
    Think not now your journeys done
    For though your ship be sturdy, no
    Mercy has the sea,
    Will you survive on the ocean of being?
    Come ancient children hear what I say
    This is my parting council for you on your way.

    Sadly now your thoughts turn to the stars
    Where we have gone you know you never can go.
    Watcher of the skies watcher of all
    This is your fate alone, this fate is your own.

  4. Don't forget the angelic category of Watchers in Kevin Smith's Dogma... as the Metatron (Alan Rickman) sneeringly noted,
    "Guess what they do?"

    (Points to anon poster above for reproducing the lyrics of one of my favourite Genesis tracks!)

  5. Did I miss it? No reference to Uatu the Watcher in Lee-Kirby's Fantastic Four who must spend a lot of time focussed on Manhattan since that seems to be where all the superheroes tend to collect.

  6. The WATCHERS?

    Raymond Fowler's best book on the Alien Abduction phenomenon? Those watchers?


    This is Fowler's third, and perhaps strangest, book about Betty Andreasson (now Mrs. Robert Luca). There is a little bit of everything here--out-of-body/near-death experiences, Christian spirituality, and ancient astronauts. By way of hypnotic regression, Luca was able to provide details about her numerous abductions, and her drawings, included in this book, clarify her verbal descriptions of alien machinery and enigmatic activities. The "secret design" behind alien abductions, says Luca, is a long-term genetics program undertaken by the aliens to prolong and improve life on the Earth. Fowler's objectivity in reporting these amazing experiences is called into question with his recent "discovery" of his own, up to now repressed, abduction experiences. Still, this book will be popular at public libraries with strong patron interest in UFO abduction.
    - Gary D. Barber, SUNY at Fredonia Lib.

  7. UTAH – Centre of the ROCK

    The inner position of Utah within the 11 Western States, keep in mind that this ROCK (Rock under The Dome of the Old Jerusalem Temple) is THE ROCK that Muslims believe to be the JUDGMENT ROCK of ALLAH (which is symbolizing Los Angeles, which is considered the well of souls). By extension, the Christians, and the Jews also believe this to be THE ROCK where Jesus, or the coming Messiah, will execute Judgment on behalf of the Father God. Of course, being entranced in their religious protocol as they are, they have no idea that the 11 Western States form this Judgment Rock. Nevertheless, this is exactly the situation.

    Now consider that Freemasons draw many of their adherents from the religions of the world, and especially from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths in North America. To become a Mason, one should have a belief in a Supreme Being. It used to be a pre-requisite until recently, simply because, with the advent of the Environmental Green Movement, faith in a Supreme Being is shifted back, literally, towards what it always has been, the WORSHIP of the SUN GOD of EGYPT and BABYLON, the WATER/SKY – EARTH – AIR. This in turn, is literally translated into the belief that the 3 DIMENSIONAL SPACE IS REAL. There’s no need to hide behind the term, SUPREME BEING, any longer, as the manipulation has been successful.

    Since we’re considering such things, consider that Freemasons use the Islamic QUR’AN, and the Old and New Testaments, amongst their sacred texts. This tells us that to be a Freemason, one must find common ground with these writings. In other words, to be a Freemason, one must not be in objection to the writings of MUHAMMAD or the PROPHETS or the APOSTLES. Yet again, this means that one must recognize that these writings regarding ALLAH, or JEHOVAH, are credible.

    When a Freemason moves through the degrees, by the time they reach the 32 degree of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, they can apply to become a SHRINER. One stipulation is that they MUST PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO ALLAH. No if’s, and’s or but’s. They must do it, or they cannot become a SHRINER. What this indicates, is that the higher in rank one becomes in Freemasonry, the more important is the ISLAMIC BELIEF SYSTEM and faith in ALLAH, and all that faith in ALLAH represents. The formal name of 32 degree SHRINERS who have pledged allegiance to ALLAH is: The ANCIENT ARABIC ORDER OF THE NOBLES OF THE MYSTIC SHRINE.

    Hard to believe it's it? Our founding Fathers and many of our present world leaders today follow & actually believe this crap. Am I the only one here that really thinks this stink?


  8. Cage's latest acquisition.

    A bit off topic for this post but I thought I'd drop it off.

  9. Mind blowing. In the best way. Thank you.

  10. EVEn Family Guy got in on the Event Horizon Meme in the episode "April in Quahog":

  11. Ah, I see someone beat me to the punch on the Nic Cage pyramid news. Wacky stuff, innit?

  12. Wow! The gargoyle is a also a winged "watcher", so nice catch there. Some research shows that the medieval gargoyle is an updated Gorgon, or "guardian of the temple". One wonders what these statues get up to at night. I'm wondering if one of them is watching the Chrysler building, because to me that resonates the Temple of the Moon, Venus, etc. Something the Watchers might like...

    Great post!


  13. D*- From what I've seen the root of angel is angelos and angle is ankylos, but I'd love a link on that etymology. Things are so rarely what they seem.

    Danielo- I'd love a link on that pic too!

    Strangey- Or more appropriately, the MAD EYE SON ;-)

    Anony- Is that some PG Genesis you're quoting there?

    Catvie- Dogma- haven't seen that one in ages. Thanks for the heads up.

    Anony- Oh Uatu is over on the Solar Satellite. He might as well be back on the Moon.

    C!- Cheers- I'm going to track that book down.

    D*- Well, there are a lot of theories the Templars fell in with the Sufis, so I'm not exactly surprised meself.

    Anony427- Classic!

    BL- Cheers!

    CDH- Will check that out- cheers.

    Michael- Good stuff. Cheers.

  14. Funny, a few years ago I received an invitation to join letter (is that how they recruit these days?) from the 23rd street Masonic Lodge. I've kept the letter to this day.
    In other pyramid news, i thought you might like this.

  15. Your post reminds me of a recent exchange with a friend and her father:

    My friend has a balcony with a rather spectacular view of Manhattan.

    I offered to bring over a telescope; her father interrupted: “It wouldn't work – the lights from the City obscure the stars.”

    It seems almost metaphorical.

    What goes on in Manhattan that renders the heavens irrelevant?


    Concerning St. John:

    I wonder which St. John they meant?

    St. John of Patamos wrote the Revelations.


    As for Zecharia Sitchin's, “translations”.....

    I find “Ancient Astronauts/Cargo Cult” theories intriguing; the 12th Planet doom OMGz – not so much.

    Nibiru is a verb meaning “to ferry across [a river]”

    It also was used to describe Jupiter in the Sumerian Zodiac.

    Unless Sitchin's implying Jupiter will wedge itself in the Tigris river, there's no proof to his outrageous claims.

    *sigh* if only Sitchin claimed Nibiru was a stargate...

  16. Hi Chris

    My monkey mind linked the statues to the Falling Man in the Tarot card, The Tower . It also reminded me of the man who jumped from the 86th floor of the Empire State building .


  17. "I was once a little child,
    Three years ago.
    That child who longed for other worlds, But now I am no more a child
    For I have learned to hate.
    I am a grown-up person now,
    I have known fear.

    Bloody words and a dead day then,
    That's something different than bogie men!

    But anyway, I still believe I only
    sleep today, That I'll wake up, a child again, and start to laugh and play."

    A very unusual conversation last night on Coast to Coast am, the guest made mention that there were silent musings in clandestine circles of scinece that our Galaxy actually in a black hole! What is more interesting is that there are those who believe that we are in a quarantine of intergalactic sorts..

    The Watchmen are they not protectors and there are not just 1 but many, Hero's comes to mind. Chris and the esteemed readers, are you all Watchmen, or these fallen angels a select few, what distinguishes one from a normal human?


  18. @F:
    The Watchmen are they not protectors and there are not just 1 but many, Hero's comes to mind. Chris and the esteemed readers, are you all Watchmen, or these fallen angels a select few, what distinguishes one from a normal human?

    Loaded question...

    What says they are fallen?
    What is a "normal" HuMan?


  19. @Chris K

    Yes indeedy! That one too!



    This seems to resonate some with the previous anony comment as well.

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