New public artwork in Woden…

Reprobate 18 September 2008 45

[First filed: September 05, 2008 @ 13:00]

Being privileged to work among the windswept canyons of north Woden, I have the opportunity to pass one of the Government’s sites for new public artwork nearly every day. What you see here is exactly how the site has been for the past three months – a half arsed, abandoned or forgotten shambles that obstructs more than half of the walkway for no good reason.

Back in April/May there was work feverishly occurring at the site, and a sculptured person of indeterminate gender made of metal plates was placed where you see the metal rod for a few weeks. He or she was wrapped in a roll of carpet-like material while work progressed. Then it disappeared – possibly never to be seen again.

Finally I realised – Reprobate, you fool!!! What you see here IS the new artwork!!!

Clearly, the fencing symbolises the disconnect between the community and the Government. The waste of space and inconvenience imposed on the citizenry speaks of the structure of our local Assembly. The pile of sand, ever shifting, represents the foundations upon which the public’s trust is based. The marble paving hints at the exceses of prior empires, with the unfinished work and random stacking of the slabs a metaphor for major local infrastructure projects like the GDE. The safety cones reflect a warning to the community of voting for a majority government ever again. Finally, the centrepiece of a bloody big spike speaks of the Government’s “get this up ya” attitude to any questioning of it’s glorious activities, particularly school closures.

Trouble is, I don’t know what it is called. Ideas?

UPDATED: The RiotACT investigations unit, aka The Canberra Times has unravelled the mystery:

    ArtsACT director David Whitney said the work had ”quite a wobble on it” when it was installed and needed some repairs, having to be removed twice from its location.

    Mr Whitney said there were fears the artwork could not be secured adequately, although he was waiting on advice from the artist.

    The sculpture was not the original one the Government had wanted to purchase, which was sold to another party. The design was similar but ”not as robust” as the original.

SNAFU then?

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45 Responses to New public artwork in Woden…
Granny Granny 3:01 am 19 Sep 08

Thumper said :

I think I may drag out the arc welder and make my own scuplture. Now, where to put it…

How about the median strip on Northbourne Ave opposite the Citygate? Have you considered constructing it from vintage toilet seats and artificial limbs?

teepee teepee 6:52 pm 18 Sep 08

If the artwork has a wobble on it, that would be quite appropriate. Very symbolic of the Stanhope Government.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 5:59 pm 18 Sep 08

So – the gov wants to buy an artwork, sets up the installation place for it – but fails to buy it. Then gets another one (which is a bit wobbly) and has to send it back twice to make sure it doesn’t kill someone.

Can we stick to mowing lawns and collecting the garbage? These high falutin’ art things are just trouble!

Thumper Thumper 10:25 am 18 Sep 08

I think I may drag out the arc welder and make my own scuplture. Now, where to put it…

Gord0 Gord0 10:19 am 18 Sep 08

on an canberra-centric artwork related topic :

did the ridiculous moving orange ducks feet “work” of art on the median strip at the start of Yarra Glen ever get a deserved flaming here somewhere ? TIA for the link

I would link to a streetview shot but the googlecam was on the blink that day it seems..,135.745076&sspn=68.015291,106.875&ie=UTF8&ll=-35.331814,149.086318&spn=0.003939,0.006523&z=18&layer=c&cbll=-35.332653,149.086018&panoid=nTPCRWnf5TmVh_clfVX3fg&cbp=1,0,,0,5

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 9:35 am 18 Sep 08

The day after someone said “I could ask the Canberra Times to investigate this, though it probably wouldn’t sell much advertising space, so they wouldn’t be interested…” its an article in the Canberra Times.

Feel the power of RiotACT!

Thumper Thumper 9:05 am 18 Sep 08

Maybe it’s called “Archaeology”

Pandy Pandy 9:00 am 18 Sep 08

Liberals would be interested in this as a beat up

Mr Evil Mr Evil 5:13 pm 17 Sep 08

A performance piece, maybe? 🙂

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 5:07 pm 17 Sep 08

There was an old article in the CT a while back outlining the amount of art that was going where.
Tuppence to whoever wantst o find it and link to it, but it made a clear mention of the Metal Plate Humanoid (FIIK what the name was actually).

Is this a symptom of Stanhope easing off his policy of “all art, all the time”?

Whatsup Whatsup 5:04 pm 17 Sep 08

It is artwork. The title is ‘Not Here’

Reprobate Reprobate 4:55 pm 17 Sep 08

FURTHER UPDATE: As of lunchtime today, all work has apparently been completed. No more fencing, no more forgotten materials. Thing is, there is also no artwork there – nothing, nada, zip! The only hint that there was ever any activity there is the oval paving, which is finished – albeit to a home-handyman standard. Just on a brief walk up and down the path, I saw a number of people look at the paving bemusedly and overheard a comment of “so where’s the statue that was going up there?”

So, putting on my best cadet reporter cap, three simple questions for the Government via RiotACT*:
1) Where is the artwork now?
2) Why the apparent change of mind to place it in that location?
3) How much did this whole exercise cost, from start to finish?

* – I could ask the Canberra Times to investigate this, though it probably wouldn’t sell much advertising space, so they wouldn’t be interested. The Chronicle would want me to come up with a media release, so they could copy the the text and call it a story. Or I could write to Jon Stanhope, but I’d like an answer sometime before the upcoming election…

Granny Granny 4:58 pm 15 Sep 08

Do not underestimate the power of the RiotACT, youngling!

Reprobate Reprobate 4:52 pm 15 Sep 08

Update: Just on a week after my post, “work” recommenced on this site today. Coincidence… or the powers of posting on the RiotAct?

Pezo Pezo 5:12 pm 09 Sep 08

All the great draconian rulers in the past have done the same. How else would we remember a such a ‘great leader’. Two lane bypass – artwork. One in the same.

pointe pointe 2:44 am 09 Sep 08

kkcscdp said :

John Stanhope’s “I Don’t Recall”

No, John Stanhope “will have to look into that and get back to you, because it doesn’t seem right, although I will have to talk to a few people and get the facts straight, but as soon as I know I will have someone inform you that I’ve looked into the issue you raised with me.”

Oh higher power, forgive me. I wonder if I go to hell for mocking a Minister? I clearly listen to far too much Talk Back Minister.

astrojax astrojax 6:01 pm 08 Sep 08

‘ode to the fire deep inside the seething underbelly of this happy place’

tastyjam tastyjam 10:18 am 08 Sep 08

I think my comment’s justified Pesty, someone in these bitching threads need to put forward an opposing argument 😀

canberra towie canberra towie 5:48 pm 06 Sep 08

Next time you’re in Anzac Parade, go up to the nurse’s memorial (the one that’s a shower screen) and look inside. It was meant to include a water feature and they never finished it. It’s full of stainless steel piping. So much for integrity and carry-through!

It was turned on but now they had to turn it off as water restrictions

It does look good when its going though

miz miz 4:47 pm 06 Sep 08

“angry voice” sounds like a good name for it to me . . .

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