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Jesus by the Lake

  Beauty, Terrible Beauty

Industry of the Ordinary look a gift horse in the mouth.

And catching sight of Helen moving along the ramparts,
   They murmured one to another, gentle, winged words:
   "Who on earth could blame them? Ah, no wonder
   The men of Troy and Argives under arms have suffered
   Years of agony all for her, for such a woman.
   Beauty, terrible beauty!
   A deathless goddess--so she strikes our eyes!

Homer, The Iliad, Book Three, lines 185-191

Discordianism is a belief system centered on the idea that order and disorder are illusory, and products of the imagination. Believers insist that neither is any more accurate, objective or true than the other.

Discordianists trace the roots of mythological discord to an ancient Greek wedding at which an uninvited guest, Eris, the goddess of Strife and Discord, attempted to gift a golden apple to the most beautiful goddess – in Greek, Kallisti (‘to the fairest’) – and three goddesses believed that the apple belonged to them, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite.  

The hapless Paris, Prince of Troy, was appointed to select the fairest by Zeus. The goddesses stripped naked to try to win Paris's decision, and also attempted to bribe him. Hera offered political power; Athena promised infinite wisdom; and Aphrodite tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world: Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta. While Greek culture placed a greater emphasis on prowess and power, Paris chose to award the apple to Aphrodite, thereby dooming his city, which was destroyed in the war that ensued.

This apple was part of a performance by Industry of the Ordinary, in which 100 golden apples were distributed to the guests at the Hyde Park Art Center Gala in 2022. It was left to rot from the inside out for 9 months and then photographed.

Special thanks to Jay Wolke.