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Karl Krogstad, the Shrinemaster
by Karl Krogstad
2007-05-20 10:40:40
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In Karl Krogstad's own words, “Welcome to the land of imagination enthroned -- The Shrine to Circusanity. It is the creation of a suggestive magic and of course, the holy spot for the new religion. I'm not too crazy about the pomp, but I love the circumstance of religion. I shall have my own! And in keeping, know all ye, this disease of circumstance can upset the dark forces that require us to be passive. On the other hand, guarding against slipping into becoming a disciple of Carnivalization, we must laugh at all things polished and finished. Holding our bowling balls we say, ‘Ho, Ho Ho!’”

The Shrine is an obscure conspiracy of unlimited demands and curiously enough, no demand at all! The Shrine asks nothing of you. Why should it? But it begs your understanding; it exists to proclaim the sovereignty of the instant. It is for you to bring meaning to the Shrine. It is a place for thought. “Ask not what the Shrine can do for you.” And if it had a voice, the Shrine would scream and the Shrine would yawn.

It is a place for peace, but also one for catharsis. It is Shrine as cure! It is not a mosque, nor a church. It is a Shrine. A Shrine to Circusanity! And it must not be confused with the Shrine Circus, but as Shrinemaster Karl enjoys crippled children. It is a religious artefact -- one from a religion based on circus memorabilia and bingeing. But in this, your introduction, nothing more about the religion itself shall be revealed.

The Shrine building, the structure of holy pilgrimage, is designed to speak for itself. Capable of both rotating and flying, the Shrine houses some very valuable treasures, including two exceptional monstrances amongst its jewels. The first, known as “El Cogollo” (lettuce heart) is the work of Enrique de Arfe, and is one of the finest samples of flamboyant Gothic goldsmith work.

The Cathedral Museum also houses some other exceptional pieces: a very rich monstrance, called “del Millon” (the monstrance of the thousands), due to the considerable number of precious stones set in it, donated by Indies adviser Don Miquel Calderon de la Barca and his wife Dona Ana Josefa Pevidal.

The Shrine is the shock of the ordinary. And if you do not think it ordinary, then you are looking too hard. In fact, little is intended to separate the Shrine itself from, say -- dirty dishes. But it's a nice place. One worthy of you becoming a student of the archive. It is for you to survey an exquisite world and then just go home and transcribe its messages.

And in remembrance, the Shrine of Circusanity is not a goal, it is an occasion; only a moment really. And with that moment I seek the buried face of the age. It's down there somewhere. Pretty well covered over I should say.”

Photos by Linda Lane

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