It showed up seemingly overnight. None were prepared for its arrival or the terrifying implications that it raised. One simple addition to campus was able to shock Georgetown’s community to its core for at least one entertaining and bewildering conversation.
Though initially unveiled with little fanfare, the statue depicting Jack the Bulldog had an eventful arrival. The statue made its debut in front of the Healey Family Student Center on September 24 and led to numerous confused looks along with multiple students proclaiming that it “wasn’t here last night.” News of the latest interpretation of Georgetown’s beloved mascot quickly spread across the campus through Instagram and Snapchat, leading students to trek to New South in order to verify the rumours. However, this mild interest was quickly overshadowed by another, even more serious conversation topic: the Bulldog’s pose.
Made out of bronze and laying atop a slab of dark marble, Jack is displayed in a regal yet strangely seductive pose. The craftsmanship of the statue is admirable, but the design choices are what cause the mind to linger the most. It seems that the artist wished to depict Jack as being recently woken since he appears to be rising from a sitting pose and his ears are up, as if he recently heard a noise. However, this interpretation is based on a subjective viewpoint and experience with dogs. Without this specific perspective, the pose appears somewhat seductive since Jack’s back legs lay on the marble while his front legs push the front of his body upward. Cultural depictions of seduction are the most likely cause for the stance’s perplexing emotional response, but a further discussion of the topic is too uncomfortable for me at this moment.
The statue’s sexual undertones aren’t the only thing that causes distress when looking at the artwork. Looking into the eyes of the real Jack causes feelings of warmth, joy and calm; the eyes of the metallic Jack only draw forth feelings of staring into the abyss and having it stare back at you.
The numerous questions about the statue’s very existence cause even more anxiety about the inanimate canine. Some examples include: Why did the statue receive a low-key debut? How much of our tuition went into the production of this statue? Why did the statue get completed before the football stands? At the moment, the answers to these questions are unknown but they’re being actively looked into by some bored Sophomore.
Whether this becomes a beloved addition or remains a bewildering part of the Georgetown campus is up to the passage of time. Personally, if this statue isn’t decorated for upcoming holidays or local events then I would consider it a travesty. Some pumpkins surrounding the base in October, a Christmas hat or menorah during Winter Break, and blue face paint for March Madness are just a few of the decorations that can make the statue feel like its a more integral part of the community. Without these kinds of additions, our campus would be doing a disservice to all community-building vandalism everywhere.
Image Credits: Skyler Coffey