A group of very dedicated pranksters (or cultists, or both) took their love for H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos to the extreme this week when they installed a large monument to chaos god Azathoth in front of Oklahoma City’s Paseo Grill. The granite monument is three feet tall and is adorned with a bronze plaque upon which is inscribed “In the Year of Our Lord 2012 Creer Pipi claimed this land for Azathoth.”
The restaurant is in the middle of the city’s arts district, so it could be the work of a local artist or art collective. Twitter follower Crocodile Gandhi (@brokenrib) said that some suspect it to have been the work of assemblage artist Eric Piper. “Creer Pipi” is an anagram of his name. If so, Eric/Creer had to have had some help. The stone is said to be enormously heavy (three men could only budge it an inch), and is thus proving to be a little bit of a problem for the restaurant to move. Local police say that since it wasn’t stolen then it is the restaurant’s responsibility to move. This, of course, opens the door for all kinds of heavy object-based shenanigans, if that’s the case.
According to a New York Daily News article, some residents are frightened by the artifact and have warned people away from touching it. They claim that Azathoth is a real demon, and thus, the rock is supernaturally dangerous.
T. Allan Blistad’s The Lovecraft Necronomicon Primer describes Azathoth as a flute-playing, swirling mass of formless chaos at the center of the universe around whom other chaos beings hold court. Blistad likens the god as being an embodiment of the idea of form out of chaos, an interesting topic for any artist to pursue. If Eric Piper is the artist (We’re not saying he is!) then it is perhaps not coincidental that “Piper” chose to honor this player of the flute.
Lovecraft described Azathoth as a “primordial being” from which the other gods, including Cthulhu, rose. “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath” includes a longer description of the god:
“…outside the ordered universe (is) that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.”
As with most things Lovecraft, Azathoth has found a “life” outside of the authors stories. The band “Blind Idiot God” took their name from one of Azathoth’s epithets. The god has also popped up in various Cthulhu Mythos-insired novels and games.
Update: “Crocodile Gandhi” also reports that the monument has since been removed. Thanks, CG!