Entries Tagged 'AVERT YOUR EYES!' ↓

Public art can be dangerous for your health (and psychological wellbeing)


One of my favourite works in the Australian National University’s sculpture collection used to be Witness, by the renowned Indonesian/Australian artist Dadang Christanto. Comprised of aluminium forms attached to the skeleton of a eucalypt tree, it looked for all the world like a flock of Sulphur-crested cockatoos that had lobbed into the branches of the tree, as they do. Commissioned in 2004, when Dadang was artist-in-residence at the School of Art, for quite some time it stood in splendid isolation overlooking the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Subsequently, in a wind storm, some of the aluminium forms detached themselves and fell to the ground.


For the last five years there has been a dodgy star-picket and wire fence to keep spectators at bay. Now (shock! horror!) the whole area has been surrounded by a vast backyard fence! It is now framed in a way such that the original work has a radically inappropriate new visual component. Now I know (and I’ve argued on this site) that reframing is a particularly Canberran discourse – witness the way the experts and architects at the National Gallery have redesigned and reframed The Aboriginal Memorial – but this is example of what is technically known as outsider design. Or is this Occupational Health and Safety gone mad? In which case, what about the psychological health of the artlovers like your iconophile who have to walk past it every morning?


There are ethical and moral rights issues at play here. Was the artist consulted? If so, we will need to reconsider whether the work has been transformed in some way into a sad statement about art in the public domain. Was anyone asked whether this was an appropriate addition to the work? If so, there is an interesting question of curatorial responsibility at play. Alternately, perhaps this is a test case for public art more generally? The Skywhale, for example, could be flown behind a giant fence, and then nobody would be unhappy. Except me.

How to look at a Rothko

Answer: through a guard, sideways. This prescient photograph is from Meredith Rosenberg’s analysis of the effects of the recent Basel art fair, here discussed at Hyperallergic.

now we have “incisive” art collectors…

Don’t bother reading past the headline – it’s ArtInfo that’s losing its bite…

non-secular (and “incredibly boring”): public art in the Bible Belt

read Ben Valentine, in reflective mode, here at Hyperallergic


on the part of your iconophile at habitusliving

WTF? We’re *watching* young collectors now?

I suppose it’s in Modern Painters interests to suck up to its richest 50 young readers…

give us a break (from Martha Rosler’s relational readymades)

“It is, in a way, a huge, collective readymade,” MoMA curator Sabine Breitwieser told ARTINFO in an interview. “A museum is a repository of our culture through artifacts, but our lives are also defined by everyday objects. Duchamp already showed us that the everyday can become an art object when shown at a museum.” She’s referring to Martha Rosler’s garage sale… Read more on ArtInfo, if you need to…

The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even.

Even if they stripped a tad too deep. Welcome to Canberra. And its very particular aesthetic sensibility.  This extraordinary new gateway object gives “Airport Art” a few new meaning/dimensions. That we don’t know who is the author of this bizarre and kinky nude thing is its best aspect. You do have to avert your eyes to avoid the lady-parts and the erectile tissue. And the flayed skin. So please forgive the dodgy phonograph – your iconophile was suffering repulsion-effects…

shopping for authenticity: the global reach of dot-painting

Move over NY subway grafitti style! Here comes dot-painting…  And if you want to bulk-order your boomerangs, you can go here. These treasures (and the background research) is thanks to Bill Kruse, in Djakarta airport.

Charles Saatchi vents: it’s all about having a “good eye”, apparently…

in The Guardian, here.