ACT Chief Minister’s Latino Aesthetic lives up to expectations


Oh dear. It’s a fizzer. This “sculptural marker” for Canberra’s non-existentLatin America Quarter” looks as gimcrack and temporary as the reports of its Sydney sojourn promised. Did the ACT Chief Minister really choose it himself? Maybe he only saw it in the dark… Either way, to elevate this tinny temporary effects $90,000 public artefact to the status of (permanent) “public art” is, I’m afraid, a bad joke all round… Plus there’s the budget for the “launch” – complete with marquee, portaloos, nibbles and drinkies. Incidentally, what the CT first reported as the “Latin American Quarter” is now the “Latin American Plaza”… And then in the CT’s breathless style the sculpture “took the artist three months to make” – well there’s an index of quality for you… one Phillips head screw every three days…


Seems designed to defeat drunken larrikins. A non-voting sector. Except those who vote with Phillips head screwdrivers. We’ll be watching it’s progress with interest. You have to wonder, is this the standard we’ll get for the Glassworks commission? How long before the etched gal rusts, and it’s dented and graffiti’d? C’mon Jon, get some better advice…



#1 Pammy Faye on 12.04.09 at 10:13 am

Ah, is this where the funding that was supposed to go to the Latin American dance festival they have every summer in Garema Place ended up? Via ABC 666, I’ve heard that the festival have had this year’s budget slashed from $15K to $5K and as a result they can’t afford to pay for the international acts to attend. Where’s the Latino Love in that? This “Latin American Plaza” really is a bit light Latino!

#2 byrd on 12.04.09 at 9:38 pm

I immediately red that as a poster site, or less gig based shenanigans. They may have allowed for such in the maintenance budget (in that precinct you would hope someone had the foresight to mention the traditional used of structures in that scale).But

#3 Kevin on 12.06.09 at 2:58 pm

Why doesn’t it have a tree in it?

#4 Nigel on 12.06.09 at 8:15 pm

Because its internal structure is so unbelievably skinny it won’t withstand a good blow, let alone a few tonnes of soil… which might be a good thing. Let’s hope they wrote in a good exit clause. Imagine having to maintain it in perpetuity???

#5 Vanessa Barbay on 12.06.09 at 9:29 pm

Just what a city needs, more concrete!

#6 Nigel on 12.06.09 at 9:43 pm

Actually, it’s tinny galvanised iron…

#7 max on 12.09.09 at 1:20 pm

Please keep us informed about the fence. Is it part of the, uhh, art? (The little green feet are a nice touch.)

#8 Nigel on 12.09.09 at 4:03 pm

You like the frame better than the art? Not an auspicious sign…

#9 Nigel on 12.09.09 at 4:06 pm

Just wait for next week’s post, when you’ll see how the tree has been claimed by the feds…

#10 ampersand duck on 12.10.09 at 3:14 pm

I was really disappointed when I saw that one. I vote the structure stays as a kind of flowerpot/vase/plinth, but the crappy top attachments get removed ASAP and artists can apply for it to be an exhibition space periodically, say for 6 months at a time. That would be fun, if the structure lasts that long!

#11 matt on 12.11.09 at 1:35 pm

is it supposed to look like a vase full of dead flowers?

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