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9.1.08

public art, public opinion: the fourth plinth



The kids over at the We Made This blog have done a great post on the Fourth Plinth project happening in London's Trafalgar Square. It's a public sculpture project, with a shortlist chosen by experts, exhibited at the National Gallery and open to consultation with the public. Luckily, it's in London and has the involvement of the National and the Mayor of London/GLA, making it somewhat more refined and educated than something with audience participation like that would end up being here (think Australian Idol vs The Archibald).

Which i think is a bit of a shame, really. Seeing as work is created with public funds and is in the public domain, having the public take some ownership of it by having a say in its selection makes sense. In theory.

The reality here is that a larger proportion of the Australian population don't give a fuck about art, don't know anything about it, don't want to even consider paying for it out of their precious possible-loan-repayment money and don't listen when it is explained why good public art makes a difference to a city.



Which is such a pity, because there is a dearth of good public art sculpture out there (especially in Melbourne, a city brimming with good sculptural artists) and as discussed in a recent (suprisingly decent) Australian Art Review article, those responsible for commissioning the works are largely bureaucratic, unaware and narrow minded. Imagine if the process became a collaboration between curators, museums, artists and an appreciative public, like the Fourth Plinth project? This city’s reputation for public sculpture could almost match its reputation for street art, fine art, music, culture and general funky goodness.



Oh and as much as I would love to see a family of Trace’s meerkats hanging out on the plinth at Trafalgar Square, I’m going for Jeremy Deller's Spoils of War. Register your opinion over here if you like.

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6 Comments:

At 09 January, 2008 13:17, Anonymous The Kaiser said...

Oh you and me are going to have a year arguing about this kind of stuff young lady.

Brilliant.

 
At 09 January, 2008 23:14, Blogger lauren said...

reh-he-healy... bring it on, opi :)

 
At 09 January, 2008 23:22, Blogger Stan Lee said...

I strolled down that very laneway yesterday lunchtime on my way to finally catch the Gordon Bennett show at Fed Square. I really enjoyed it. So nice to see aboriginal art that is stereotypical dot painting. Have you seen it Lauren?

 
At 10 January, 2008 02:44, Blogger lauren said...

i love hosier lane too, stan. and then there's always the until never gallery tucked away off hosier just near there too.

and i haven't see the gordon bennett because, to be frank, i can't stand his work and it makes me violent. i know i should go and see it and re-assess because my opinion might change, but i'm not willing to just yet.

i'm glad you liked it though!

 
At 12 January, 2008 12:47, Blogger Stan Lee said...

When we finally catch up for that coffee Gordon Bennett will have to be a topic of conversation.

As a regular reader of your blog, you have an opinion I value. I know nothing about art really, but I know what I like as the cliche goes.

 
At 13 January, 2008 01:22, Blogger lauren said...

hehe.. i can also be wildly irrational with that opinion, stan and wave it around like a madman with a stick, so bear that in mind when we finally catch up for that coffee.

 

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