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The dance around the golden calf

Title and year
The dance around the golden calf

Granite and iron

Monica Poulsen, b. 1944

Engvej, Rødekro


The area around the town of Rødekro is intersected by Oksevejen, the old, time-honoured “ox road”. Since this route had the fewest waterways and fords to cross, it was greatly preferred by the ox traders, and this obviously attracted other traders as well. Natural elements of the route – forests, brooks, pathways, and stepping stones – are portrayed on the sides of the sculpture’s lower section.

The title is clearly a biblical reference to the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites worship an image of the Canaanite deity Baal while Moses is away on Mount Sinai speaking to Yahweh, God of the Israelites. They had, in fact, agreed not to worship other gods than Yahweh, but with Moses gone their promise is forgotten. The title plays on the history of the ox trade in Jutland, and on the fact that the ox road was a source of both wealth and greed. The inherent moral danger is symbolized in the way the huge, solid granite ox balances upon a foundation of iron, which in turn rests upon a structure with small, frail-looking wheels.