“The pig has been part of the human condition for at least nine millennia, possibly more. It appears in religion, in folklore, in literature. Yet in spite of, or perhaps because of this kinship, our relationship with the pig is dynamic, even troubled. The Celts revered them with their swine god Moccus; the ancient Greeks told of men turning into them. We use their name as a term of derision and don’t notice the irony. A sloppy person is a “dirty pig,” even though pigs are so clean they won’t defecate in their barnyard homes. A person who eats too much is a “pig,” even though we turn every ounce of swine into food. Some pigs disturb, like red-eyed “Jodie” of the Amityville Horror and the decapitated boar’s head in Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Yet many others delight, like Wilbur, Porky, Piglet, Miss Piggy and Babe. Orwell used them to great allegorical effect in Animal Farm. And somewhere in this tapestry is Churchill’s famous observation:
“Dogs look up to man. Cats look down to man. Pigs look us straight in the eye and see an equal.”
We see many parallels with the The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and what it did for the city of Chicago, and Artprize, for what it is doing for the city of Grand Rapids. Parsifal’s Story begins during this exhibition.