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Sleeping Cupid(s)


- Sleeping Cupid, c.1608, Caravaggio / Mark Zuckerberg, asleep in Silicon Valley, 2016

Like much of Caravaggio's work Sleeping Cupid is loaded with symbolic meaning and narrative. It is commonly interpreted that Cupid (Latin Cupido, meaning "desire") in slumber signifies the abandonment of worldly pleasures, with his bow and arrows cast aside we are reminded that we are ultimately only safe from Cupid's arrow when he is asleep.

Our modern day, and appropriately cupid-faced, god of desire might be found in Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. As a modern day social myth 'Zuck' leads us to question our contemporary interpretations of classical mythologies ideas of desire, attraction and affection now expressed as sharing, openness and likes. When captured as the mirror image of Caravaggio's Sleeping Cupid new meanings emerge, however. Are we truly safe from Zuckerberg's arrow when he sleeps? His conscious and unconscious dreams are capable of becoming our reality like no other individual gracing the planet, and his state of dormancy only highlights the detachment of the ideological and material world in which he inhabits, unconscious and decoupled from the implications of his shared social myth.


- Amor (Roman Cupid) Vincit Omnia, 1602, Caravaggio / Mark Zuckerberg, Laughing in Silicon Valley, 2016



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