By Nathan Schmidt
Today, a years-long campaign of public art has finally come to fruition: Fairfield University’s iconic bronze stag statue has been replaced by a bronze statue of a man with antlers. The life-size statue, titled “The Shape of Humanity,” is in the exact same spot as the original. And already, students have grown varyingly pleased and disturbed at the sight of it.
This development began in 2018, when campus administration responded to the rising tide of populism worldwide by reaffirming the humanistic Jesuit values of our school. This effort immediately translated into commissioning an independent artist, Johann Rage, to replace the stag statue with something more “human-like.” The logical conclusion is a statue of an ordinary, nude man with a pair of plastic-looking antlers on the headband.
In a public press statement, Rage stated, “This is the piece that our world needs right now. From the injection mold lines along the antlers to the neatly pedicured toenails, The Shape of Humanity recreates the human condition with absolute realism and structural poise. Our new generation of future leaders will be buoyed forever by the sight of it.”
Student reactions, meanwhile, have been mixed. In an interview with Stagnation reporters conducted uncomfortably close to the new statue, Louisa Shuminen ‘22 said, “The new statue is pretty cute. I kind of wish they hadn’t put it on all fours.”
The Shape of Humanity does mimic the original pose remarkably well. The pose of the bronze stag statue, of course, demonstrated the majesty of the university’s mascot animal. It also ensured that the most famous pair of testicles on campus would never be forgotten, at least until it became the second most famous.
“It does make riding on top of the statue easier,” Shuminen added.
At press time, students had already put a pink cloth mask over the statue’s face to support precautions against COVID-19, and a pink two-piece bathing suit over the statue’s body to support precautions against doing laundry.