This is a statue, not a river.

This is not the Mississippi. It is a statue of the Mississippi.

Yet, everyone will agree, in some mysterious way, this statue makes the Mississippi present.

The mechanics of just how this making-present occur are, to be sure, a matter of perennial debate among the wise. The question of agency is a particularly interesting one.

But that it actually happens, we can all agree.

Religion is a technology for making-present the sacred. The gods make themselves present in many different ways.

And for some of us, they do so through art.

 

Larkin Mead, Mississippi: Father of Waters (1904)

Minneapolis City Hall