Artifact Title: Stag in Church

Medium: Video

Creator: Leonora Hamill

Video Length: 0:52

Video Title: “Stag Deer in a Church Cathedral”

Upload Year: 2015

Platform: YouTube

Uploader: JaMEFMEB

Screenshot in Image: 0:13

Image Credit: Daphne Moss

TERA Curator: Judith Ellen Brunton

Stag in Church

This short video is frequently reblogged on Tumblr and other platforms. It shows a Stag Deer contemplatively walking up to an altar in a Catholic church. Creator JaMEFMEB posted this video crediting the original artist, Leonora Hamill, who staged and filmed the stag as a part of an installation called Furtherance at St. Eustache church in Paris. However, the people in the comments of JaMEFMEB’s post do not engage the context of the video, for the most part. Instead, they–and presumably the many people who circulate the video on other platforms– approach the scene with reverence or as an opportunity for theorizing the divine in nature and its relationship to human society. Many comments remark that the deer is an ‘Old God’. For example, user @trey8479 comments “The old gods seeing how far man has come” and @lukewarmmess says “one of the old gods.” Others remark on the seeming “rightness” or “naturalness” of the image, like user @maryleeespinoza239 who says “The columns and candlesticks look like a forest of marble and gold. I bet it felt right at home.” User @kaecilius188 sums up the cultural moment of the video, saying “Stag: Fascinated. 64k People: Holy.”