History of the Baphomet…

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The term Baphomet is a word derived from the medical Latin word “Baphometh” this is usually a term used to describe or explain a foreign deity an “idol” of sorts. In the 14th century the Knights Templar were accused of worshiping this deity, and subsequently it was incorporated into disparate occult and mystical traditions. It appeared as a term for a pagan idol in trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar.

The name didn’t become popular in English usage until the 19th century, when it was debated and speculated that it was the reason for the suppression of the Templars.

Since 1856, the name “Baphomet” has been associated with a “Sabbatic Goat”(like the one and the beginning of this post); it contains elements representing the “sum total of the universe” (e.g. male and female, good and evil, etc.)

The name Baphomet appeared in July 1098 in a letter by the crusader Anselm of Ribemont:

Sequenti die aurora apparente, altis vocibus Baphomethinvocaverunt; et nos Deum nostrum in cordibus nostris deprecantes, impetum facientes in eos, de muris civitatis omnes expulimus.

As the next day dawned, they called loudly upon Baphometh; and we prayed silently in our hearts to God, then we attacked and forced all of them outside the city walls.

The word “Bafumarias” was used by a chronicler of the First Crusade, Raymond of Aguilers, as a name for the mosques. In 1195 the name “Bafometz” appeared in an Occitan poem “Senhors, per los noshers peccatz” (troubadour Gavaudan). In 1250 a poem bewailing the defeat of the Seventh Crusade by Austorc d’Aorlhac refers to “Bafomet.” De Bafomet is also the title of one of four surviving chapters of an Occitan translation of Ramon Llull’s earliest known work, the Libre de la doctrina pueril, “book on the instruction of children”.

On Friday October 13, 1307 the medieval order of the Knights Templar was suppressed by King Philip IV of France, he had many French Templars arrested, followed by tortures that lead to confessions. There had been over 100 charges against the Templars, most of which were the same as the ones leveled against the Cathars and many of the King’s enemies, he had earlier kidnapped Pope Boniface VIII and charged him with near identical offenses of heresy, spitting and urinating on the cross, and sodomy. These kinds of acts were intended to simulate the sort of humiliation and torture that a Crusader could be subjected to if captured by the Saracens, where they were taught how to commit apostasy “with the mind only and not with the heart”. Similarly Michael Haag suggests that the simulated worship of Baphomet did indeed form part of a Templar initiation ritual.

The indictment (acte d’accusation) published by the court of Rome set forth … “that in all the provinces they had idols, that is to say, heads, some of which had three faces, others but one; sometimes, it was a human skull … That in their assemblies, and especially in their grand chapters, they worshipped the idol as a god, as their saviour, saying that this head could save them, that it bestowed on the order all its wealth, made the trees flower, and the plants of the earth to sprout forth.”

The name “Baphomet” came up several times in the confessions of the Templars, in the book The Knights Templar and their Myth written by Peter Partner in 1987 he states that  “In the trial of the Templars one of their main charges was their supposed worship of a heathen idol-head known as a ‘Baphomet’ (‘Baphomet’ = Mahomet).” the description of this “object” changed from confession to confession, some Templars even denied any knowledge of it at all. Others, under torture, described it as being a severed head, a cat, or a head with three faces. It was know that the Templars possessed several silver-gilt heads as reliquaries, some were marked/named including one marked capud lviiim, another said to be St. Euphemia, and possibly the actual head of Hugues de Payens (first grand master of the Knights Templar).

Gauserand de Montpesant, a knight of Provence, said that their superior showed him an idol made in the form of Baffomet; another, named Raymond Rubei, described it as a wooden head, on which the figure of Baphomet was painted, and adds, “that he worshipped it by kissing its feet, and exclaiming, ‘Yalla,’ which was,” he says, “verbum Saracenorum,” a word taken from the Saracens. A Templar of Florence declared that, in the secret chapters of the order, one brother said to the other, showing the idol, “Adore this head—this head is your god and your Mahomet.”

Modern scholars including Peter Partner and Malcolm Barber say that the name “Baphomet” was an Old French corruption of the name Muhammad, which leads us to believe that some of the Templars, through their long military occupation of the Outremer, had begun incorporating Islamic ideas into their belief system, and this is what was seen and later documented as heresy by the inquisitors. Alain Demurger rejects the idea that the Templars could have adopted the doctrines of their enemies. Helen Nicholson wrote that the charges were essentially “manipulative” the Templars “were accused of becoming fairy-tale Muslims.” medieval Christians believed that Muslims worshiped idols and objects and that they worshipped Muhammed as God, with mahomet becoming mammet in English, meaning an idol or false god. This idol worship is attributed to Muslims in several chansons de geste. An example of this are the gods Bafum e Travagan in a Provençal poem on the life of St. Honorat, completed in 1300. In the Chanson de Simon Pouille, written before 1235, a Saracen idol is called Bafumetz

 

barbara kruger…

I used imagery from some of Kruger’s work in one of my samples, the reason for this is because since I was working on a female mannequin (womannequin) there were a lot of different messages I could’ve put forward, about female equality, the “perfect” female body and how women are perceived, the possibilities for something like this is endless, even though all this topics are of the utmost importance unfortunately this wasn’t what I wanted to base my project on, but it wouldn’t be fair to not mention it at all.

Barbara Kruger 

Born in 1945 she is an American conceptual pop artist, she was born in New Jersey (Newark). From an early age she had an interest in graphic design alongside writing and poetry, she would also attend poetry readings.

She studied at Syracuse for a year and shortly after she moved to New York and began attending Parsons School of Design in 1965. She studied alongside such artists as Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel; they introduced her to other photographers and fashion/magazine sub-cultures. After only staying at Parsons for a year she left to work at Condé Nast Publications (1966). After a short while she started to work at Mademoiselle magazine, there she was an entry-level designer, after about a year she was promoted to head designer.

After that she had several different jobs that fed her interest such as a graphic designer, art director, and picture editor in the art departments at “House and Garden”, “Aperture,” and did magazine layouts, book jacket designs, and freelance picture editing for other publications. Her background in design was and is evident in her work; you can tell that she was heavily influenced by her years working as a graphic designer.

Of course everyone knows that she is a feminist and if they didn’t, the moment they look at her work it becomes clear that she is. Her different professions in life have always affected her work, when she took up photography in 1977, that was when she produced a series of black and white details of architectural exteriors paired with her own textual ruminations on the lives of those living inside. This was published as an artist’s book (Picture/Readings (1979)) this foreshadows the aesthetic vocabulary Kruger developed in her mature work.

Once 1979 came about she stopped taking photographs and began to use found images in her art, most of which came from mid-century American print-media sources, she would collage words directly over them. “Her 1980 untitled piece commonly known as “Perfect” portrays the torso of a woman, hands clasped in prayer, evoking the Virgin Mary, the embodiment of submissive femininity; the word “perfect” is emblazoned along the lower edge of the image.”

Due to the nature of her work and how it included techniques that she had perfected during her time as a graphic designer, she was able to bring up such issues like feminist provocations and commentaries on religion, sex, racial and gender stereotypes, consumerism, corporate greed, and power.

The 80’s was when she perfected her signature “agitprop” style, she used black and white photographic images and would juxtapose them with the text that she added over them which were against black, white, or deep red text bars, the text would be thought provoking and sometimes ironic and was always types in Futura Bold. “The inclusion of personal pronouns in works like Untitled (Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face) (1981) and Untitled (I Shop Therefore I Am) (1987) implicates viewers by confounding any clear notion of who is speaking.” these mature works function successfully on any scale, and they had a wide distribution, they were printed on mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, postcards even things like posters and umbrellas.  Something like this causes confusion when talking about the boundaries between something artistic and something commercial, this brings attention to the role of the advertising in public debate.

In the last few years, she has extended her project, creating installations of her work for the public in galleries, museums, municipal buildings, train stations, and parks, as well as on buses and billboards around the world. Walls, floors, and ceilings are covered with images and texts. Since the late 90’s she’s incorporated sculpture into her work when it comes to her critique of modern American culture. Justice (1997), in white-painted fiberglass, depicts J. Edgar Hoover and Roy Cohn—two right-wing public figures who hid their homosexuality—in partial drag, kissing one another. This highlights the conspiracy of silence that enabled these two men to accrue social and political power.

confinement part 2…

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This was the second sample I done using string to “cage” the mannequin but this time I also used bandages, at this point I was planning for the photo shoot and was trying to picture different things I could do and the different types of images I could take.

I like how the string and the bandages look next to each other, I feel the string looks tighter and stronger vs. the bandage, and it would press and burn the skin, whereas the bandages would just softly lay on top, but visually the bandages offer up something more, especially since we associate them with injuries and as a way to “fix something which is broken”, so using them almost tells a story and obviously makes the viewer wonder.

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pelle mea…

This was when I started my small (A5) brainstorm book, this is where I would quickly note down an idea that came to mind while I was out and I would just scribble it in.

I also done a few “trial” samples inside, this one I done using the Old English stencil and using my red malleable wax, the quote reads “Skin Me”, the inspiration was from a double page in my sketchbook where I showed “blood” and “skin”.

The reason for this macabre-ish phrase is to show, what people are willing to do in the sacrifice ritual in order to get what they want.

This was just a quick rough sample, but I like how raw it is and I really enjoy how the wax dried quite thick on the page, making the “blood” touchable, putting you that much closer to the event that took place.

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planning my space…

Now that I have two options to choose from I have come up with two “spaces” I can have for the exhibition, they are both very similar but one of the main changes between them is the lighting and color.

If I was to just display my photographs I would do them on 3 white walls and in a well lit room, because I would want it to look clean and modern, it also means that you are given more space and time to take in the images and enjoy them for what they are.

My second idea is the Satanic ritual, for this space I would still need the 3 walls but they would be painted black and would be in a dimly lit corner of the room, you would have a wall either side of you and one at the end in front of you, this is so you “walk into” the world of Satanic worship and beliefs.

If I am lucky I will try to put them both together and add the images on the wall in the satanic corner!

bleeding page…

When I’m doing the pages in my sketchbook, I want to make each page different than the last one, I want to be as creative as possible and I enjoy including different materials and textures, with my sketchbook I have used, fabric, latex, wax, sand paper, paint etc. I understand that depending on what materials I use it puts forward a different message, this double page I started with the notion of mortality and the human body.

The left page is to symbolize blood, and the soft (fabric) fragility of the human body especially when introduced to something such as Satan himself, since then I have painted into the white page and added red wax to the piece to show drips of “blood”.

The right page is latex form a sample I attempted earlier on, this is the “skin” once its dead, cold and stiff, I still have to decide what I want to do with this page.

I’m glad I’m starting to think differently and outside of the box.

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drown my sorrows…

After I had finished doing all the samples with the bodies of the dolls, I just had a “collection” of doll heads in my space, and I noticed that these bodiless heads were quite horrifying to certain people so I decided to push this a little further.

At the time me and a friend (fashion student) were sharing my space, I was focusing on my dolls and mannequin and she was doing a fashion styling project on schizophrenia, when she was struggling with sample ideas I told her that she could use the doll heads if she wanted, she gladly took them, but after a while she was stuck as to what she should do with them, and this was when I came up with the idea to “drown” one in ink, and I quite liked the look of it myself.

I don’t think I will ultimately do something like this, but it was still fun to experiment and to try something out.