Sunday, August 16, 2009

Michael Jackson Door at Cologne Cathedral: Mystery of the White Gloved Hand

We visited Cologne, Germany, in early July, and while walking across the wide expanse on the city side of the amazing Cologne Cathedral, I noticed a mysterious white-gloved hand on a door, and wondered what it signified.

Michael Jackson had just died a few days before, and he was all over the airwaves, permeating psyches everywhere with his music and the unsettled/unsettling dimensions of his life story. But I didn't think of that until later, when I looked back at my photos.

Zooming in on the white hand, at one point it became clear that there is a spidery weave in the stone inlay, giving it a lacy texture. What is the meaning of the gesture? The accessory? The downward pointing, finger-walking hand?

Zoom in further and notice the hinged-scissor lovers nearby: a laid back man and a female with bared chest, legs entangled and raised arms, kind of like the Strekdam swimmers, looking to be rescued by Super Dog. ("Help, Super God! We're merging!")

I just have to ask: WTF is up with the extraordinary ornamentation on the Cologne Cathedral?!


Michael and/or Rachel said...

It seems like some kind of anemone.

Lyle Daggett said...

The hand and the finger gesture may have been intended as something similar to the touching fingers on the ceiling of the Cistine Chapel. Just speculating.

And just offhand, I'm thinking the entangled man and woman on the cathedral door aren't necessarily calling out to be rescued, at least not just yet...

elena said...

!!~ If you look carefully, you see someone kneeling under the hand, a repentant sinner. There are also sheep and goats being separated on this door.

Someone reading the post thought the "white-gloved hand" was a contemporary response to MJ's death. No, it is a structural element in the door, created sometime in the past.

Before there were widespread publications, or movies, or the interweb, there were the images on the walls of the Cathedral, crafted collaboratively over centuries of time, telling stories.

I do want to go back to Cologne to collect more close-ups of this extraordinary door. If you happen to be there, please send photos along to this site!

elena said...

PS I have to say that I think it's pretty delightful that the first comment on this post came from a man and/or entangled anemone couple!

Michael and/or Rachel said...

Anemone of the people

elena said...

I love that: now I know what to name the door. (LOL) It's a good name for Michael Jackson, too, who could extend his extremities more impressively than any other pop star, by far.