Gallery C

Modern Monolith

Page 3
Page 2

The Monument To Azathoth

By James Donahue

When Oklahoma City restaurant owner Lesley Rawlinson showed up for work one day last August he was surprised to find a giant 640-pound monument sitting in his front yard.

The strange three-foot-high object was made of concrete. On it was carved the words: “In the year of our lord 2012 Creer Pipe claimed this land for azathoth.”

Fans of science fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft might have recognized the name Azathoth as the author’s god of chaos, and might also have caught a glimpse of humor in the monument. But Rawlinson wanted it removed.
He contacted the police and learned that no one in the area had reported the thing stolen. He put out an appeal in the local media to have the person or persons responsible to remove the “monument” even though it was attracting curiosity seekers to his restaurant.

Finally Eric Piper, an artist in nearby Norman, Oklahoma, stepped forward as the man who created the object and then dropped it at the restaurant. 
Piper said the piece was an expression of his frustration at the “elitist ideas about what art should be” in the community, and also wanted to mock the concept of land ownership.” He was specifically attacking “the spirit of imperialist nations in the past who thought they could claim and colonize land by sticking a monument in the ground.”

He said he bought the concrete, built a wooden mold then poured the cement. He also created a bronze plaque with the reference to Azathoth, which was set in the concrete while it was still wet.

In Lovecraft’s pantheon of gods, Azathoth is a supreme deity surrounded by lesser gods that dance around him, lulling him to sleep. If he wakes it creates chaos for the world.

Piper said the monument rested in his studio for weeks before he decided to act. When the time was right, he said he enlisted the help of friends, they loaded the monument on his truck, and they drove around until they found a place to put it.

He did not remove the work and has not tried to follow up on what happened to it. All we know is that the monolith has disappeared.