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‘Rhizome’ ain’t all that bad.

johnboy 24 July 2008 56

‘Rhizome’, by Richard Goodwin, is the sculpture at the northern end of the Gungahlin Drive Extension and has been the subject of much mirth and derision from RiotACT readers.

But having finally seen it I think you’re all being a bit harsh.

It’s a real achievement to build such a light, airy structure out of steel. It does evoke native grasses. It does not look like the Chief Minister’s hair.

Get up close to it, really appreciate it, and it will speak to you. Not all art can do that let alone monumental sculpture.

I think the Gungahlinistes are lucky to have it.

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56 Responses to ‘Rhizome’ ain’t all that bad.
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astrojax astrojax 1:57 pm 24 Jul 08

the berlin comment was intended to invoke the drab, square, grey bleakness of those places…

and one thing no-one has mentioned in this discussion, for all its potential flaws as an art work, surely ‘rhizome’ is infinitely a better piece of work than the similarly-themed work inhabiting the redevelopment of the convention centre on constitution ave. those girders look ugly, unfinished and are a piece of crap, if one is seeking such a thing.

la mente torbida la mente torbida 12:46 pm 24 Jul 08

Looks a bit like a scale model of the olympics athletics arena in Bejing

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 12:40 pm 24 Jul 08

I am a fan of public art, and while there is plenty around that I don’t like (like the Cuisinaire Rods and scat piles down the other end!), I do like this one. Coming from a Landcare background, I recognised what it was representing straight away, and I think it speaks about the construction that is consuming the native grasslands across northern Canberra.

However, some have raised the location as a concern, and I’d agree with that – open stretch of road is where you’ve got time and saefty to be taking a gander at this sort of thing – not in the middle of an interchange with merge lanes that should be getting your attention…

And the cost…a quarter of the above stated cost would have seemed more reasonable to me.

Thumper Thumper 9:40 am 24 Jul 08

I always thought it was memorial to Hiroshima.

jakez jakez 9:37 am 24 Jul 08

sepi said :

I’m happy for governments to fund art. and I love the little man in petrie plaza.

If governments were to just get right back to basics what would be left. Would schools be gone – they aren’t vital to our survival? Ovals and parks?

The role of Government is something that has been debated for centuries by philosophers much smarter than you or I.

However, I think one can extrapolate a right to an education with far greater ease than a right to have other peoples money taken by force so that you can enjoy art that you want.

As I said earlier, I think Government should be limited to protecting us from harm done by others, providing a safety net, and providing those services that CAN’T be provided privately without a monopoly of force.

Art is not one of these services, even if it isn’t provided at a particular time. This is not because it can’t be provided (unlike say roads, electricity, water etc that people might argue), but because people don’t WANT to pay that amount on art. They have other priorities.

If that sculpture was worth the ridiculous amount of money to people, it would be able to attract funding voluntarily. I’d suggest that without a crazy rich guy, it would never attract funding voluntarily.

The Government should constrain itself to those services above, and leave the rest to people who are more than capable of making their own choices. That $750,000 should go back into the community where I am damn sure it will be better spent.

…but I guess it’s always easier to use public choice theory to extract what you want out of other peoples pockets.

Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 9:22 am 24 Jul 08

Which is the more disgraceful ?

The fact some idiot put a pricetag that large on this; or
The fact that some idiot government purchased it at that price ?

It took two to tango on this deal.

DJ DJ 9:03 am 24 Jul 08

HOW MUCH! That is a disgrace.

Adza Adza 11:40 pm 23 Jul 08

Art my ass. It’s a piece of crap that looks like it was strung together when they accidently dropped some steel girders onto some live welding rods.

Mike Crowther Mike Crowther 11:40 pm 23 Jul 08

“…Get up close to it, really appreciate it, and it will speak to you….

for $750,000 it would bloody well want to be multilingual.

Overheard Overheard 10:34 pm 23 Jul 08

ant said :

Rhizome, isn’t that the car mob who’ve just been given the boot by the ACt gov’t? I can see why.

Either that or one of those pre-prepared rice meals from the 70s: ‘Rice-O-Rhizome’.

Genie Genie 9:54 pm 23 Jul 08

Ahh nothing like driving down the GDE and getting a site of Optimus Prime’s Pubic Hair…

ant ant 9:44 pm 23 Jul 08

Rhizome, isn’t that the car mob who’ve just been given the boot by the ACt gov’t? I can see why.

And it doesn’t look like Stanhope’s hair. It looks more like Zed’s hair.

Timberwolf65 Timberwolf65 9:08 pm 23 Jul 08

Never been up close enough to appreciate it, but I remember seeing it for the first time and thinking was it the remains of a building that once was.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 8:08 pm 23 Jul 08

I don’t know much about art, but I know that piece is a piece of shit.

johnboy johnboy 7:45 pm 23 Jul 08

Strawmen Sepi.

Maintenance of the commons is always a legitimate area of government and social equity, of which public education is the most important part, is the cornerstone of societal longevity.

Taking tax dollars from everyone and spending them on arts which only a small number are even aware of let alone enjoy is a bit different.

When public funding of art appears to actually reduce the society’s great cultural outputs it’s an even harder sell.

sepi sepi 7:36 pm 23 Jul 08

I’m happy for governments to fund art. and I love the little man in petrie plaza.

If governments were to just get right back to basics what would be left. Would schools be gone – they aren’t vital to our survival? Ovals and parks?

johnboy johnboy 6:24 pm 23 Jul 08

Not to mention that almost all art was publicly funded under the soviets.

jakez jakez 6:23 pm 23 Jul 08

And by private I mean non Government. I must stop falling into the public=government language trap.

jakez jakez 6:23 pm 23 Jul 08

astrojax said :

and i for one am happy to fund this community boon from the public purse than live in east berlin or stalingrad in 1944.

Most people are more than happy to fund things they like with other peoples money.

As for East Berlin and Stalingrad, I don’t think it serves your purpose to use regimes that actively repressed free private expression as examples against someone who is advocating for private expression.

planeguy planeguy 6:16 pm 23 Jul 08

Get up close to it, really appreciate it, and it will speak to you. Not all art can do that let alone monumental sculpture.

JB, that is exactly the problem with the work. I’d be curious to know what you had to do to get close to the piece – park in the emergency lane and walk up?

The piece, in the way it is intended to be viewed (in a car at speed) is inappropriate. It looks like a mess. However, whilst I don’t particularly like this piece’s execution, the idea is brilliant for a public space where people are free to walk through the piece, clamber over it, and climb it. The art would be in the interaction with the piece rather than the aesthetic.

For example, the courtyard at the National Museum – I find it ugly and kitsch. However, I enjoy walking through it observing people as they run up and down the mounds, following the “roads”, walking through the area playing with echos (especially in the building) etc. The interaction is the art to me.

You just don’t get that with Rhizomes. You get a 15 sec look as you pass at 90kmh. And thats what makes this piece a waste.

I am a big fan of public art – just not this one.

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