Quo Vadis Sculpture

The structure Quo Vadis was erected to commemorate the 2001 inauguration of Fr. Michael J. Graham, S.J. as the 34th president of Xavier University. The following lines were read at its dedication:

The sculpture, titled "Quo Vadis," is an 18-foot-tall, interactive, stainless steel structure. It is a giant scale, with moving arms and weights on which are inscribed words in five languages: English, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew and Armenian. Viewer-participants are invited to choose from the set of weights, inscribed with words that describe universal values, and to place them in the pans of the scale.

Initially viewers have a choice of 12 values and are forced to think about each of them carefully and make a selection indicative of their priorities. In the process, they are forced to make choices about these values and to re-examine the relative importance they assign to them. What is more important: Memory? Knowledge? Justice? Wealth? Compassion? Faith? Hope? Love? Health? Beauty? Happiness? Fate? Then, if viewers decide to balance the scale, they have to tackle the issue of the combination of values; are, for example, "faith" and "compassion" in one tray equivalent to "happiness" and "love?" Or are "memory" and "justice" comparable to "hope" and "knowledge?" It is entirely up to viewers to select, mix, balance or leave unbalanced the values in any combination they wish. In the process viewers are faced with making choices that are reflective of their life values.

-Gagik Aroutiunian
The Artist's Vision Statement

 

When the Apostle Peter fled from Rome's ruthless persecution of Christians at Nero's command, he met a Man traveling towards Rome. When Peter famously asked "Quo Vadis?" meaning "Where are you going?" the Man, who was none other than Christ, responded that he was walking to Rome to be crucified for a second time. Peter, realizing that he had let fear overwhelm him, returned to Rome where he was crucified upside-down.

   

Quick Facts

 

Gallery

Artist: Gagik Aroutiunian

Dedicated: April 15, 2004

Medium: Stainless Steel

Height: 18'

Location: Between Brockman and Kuhlman Halls

 
   

 

Additional Notes:

    • Quo Vadis is Latin for "Where are you going?"
    • Gagik Aroutiunian was a former Xavier faculty member.

Plaque Inscription:

Quo Vadis
by Gagik Aroutiunian


Commemorating the inauguration of
Michael J. Graham, S.J.

34th President of Xavier University
2001