Friday, November 08, 2013

But is it art?

I should save this for April 1st and tell you all about the terrible tram crash. But it is not even a tram, just a sculpture.

This may not be a backpacker,  but I did assist one who could not work out which side of the river he was on. He wanted to be on the south side where he had booked his backpacker accommodation. I pointed to the big building He had just left and pointed on the map, Southern Cross Station. Keep walking the same way and cross the bridge. Sorry about the colour of the water in the river and stay clear of the large palace of gambling glitz and bad taste on the south bank.


It seems strange yet effective to show the underside workings. I assume they are fairly correct. I can see the watchamacallit there, the thingymabob there and the doovery whatsit at the top. Ah yes, I can see round things too. They must be wheels.


It even has a pole to pick up the electricity from the wires or from lightening. I heard that it is lit internally at night, emanating a nice warm glow.



12 comments:

  1. It is definitely 'sculpture'. Art is a vision which gives pleasure or provokes thought and this does neither for me.
    If you search online for "cadillac ranch texas" you will get images of a row of upended cars and also some VW's in Germany. Thanks for keeping me up to date with how MEL is changing.

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    1. A good distinction between sculpture and art Ann.

      I might like the caddies, except for the garish colours.

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  2. What is it with Melbourne and our obsession with half buried objects as sculpture (i'm also thinking about the 'buried library building' sculpture outside the State Library)?

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    1. Ad Rad, I think it is called 'Fragment' at the library. They initially constructed it with sand. Skateboarders seem to like it a lot.

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  3. It's is a bit odd, but then so is the world.
    Merle..............

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    1. The world is odd Merle? I suppose it is. I fit in well.

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  4. It certainly is different, but I wouldn't call it art. Others might...

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    1. River, perhaps it is an installation? A wanky word for art that is not judged as art?

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  5. It's unquestionably art - because that's its intent. Ever since Duchamp put a urinal in an art gallery, it's been legitimate to separate an object, (or reasonable facsimile), from its designed function and give it an art context. Whether or not it's 'good art' depends on its ability to surprise and be clever and delightful. I'd need to see the real thing because this kind of art depends a lot on personal encounter. Do I round a corner and suddenly there it is? Does the way it's lit at night evoke a memory or make me feel all warm inside?

    It isn't an original idea as others have pointed out, but I don't think that matters so much. My dear friend Ann O'Dyne mentioned the Cadillac Ranch in Texas. I'd put up two examples of recycled or reproduced vehicles as sculpture that I particularly like. I've not seen either except via video, but the idea of them is so powerful to me that it's enough to know that they are/were there.

    Carhenge - in Nebraska. I saw a documentary on this installation. It's Stonehenge recreated with car wrecks. Clever because it takes the ancient Druid idea of worship and inverts it. Americans worship something that doesn't last. Druids (presumably) worshipped something that outlasted them by quite a stretch.

    The London Routemaster bus replica that did push-ups on an Islington street during the Olympics. As a former Londoner I know that the Routemaster is the historic workhorse of the London public transport system. It's a powerful metaphor, a technological triumph and a great big red fun thing all rolled into one.

    I always think the test of a great sculpture is if kids love it. Why don't you take Little Jo to see it. I'll go with her opinion.

    xxx

    Pants

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  6. Pants, to begin at the end, Little Jo will not find it interesting. I barely did. It filled a small space, but I think grass would have been nicer.

    I remember I posted a clip of the Routemaster doing push ups. That is art, if drawing attention is a criteria, and I think it is. Many people just walked past the tram, barely glancing at it. As in comments, the caddies were inventive, but oh, the colours. I like the idea of Carhenge. I will take a look.

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  7. Ditto what Ann said...although if one did come across it glowing in the dark it could give one a surprise thus by Pant's definition be considered art :))

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    1. Grace, I will see it one night. I thought there may have been photos online but not as yet.

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