My university recently added a new piece of “art”.
Now, despite the fact that my tastes run to classical and early modernism, and I almost entirely despise what is now called post-modernism or deconstrucionism, I try to be reasonably accepting of artwork.
This does not change the fact that whomever is deciding what should be posted publicly and permanently at UT has his or her head (or heads) stuck so far up the anus they probably have to swallow their cellphones three days before they want to make a call.
Ladies and gentlemen, UT’s public scultpure was never what you could call good. Previous works include a vague pllar of metal which nobody understands. I even checked with the art department, and they had no knowledge of what it’s about. In fact, I checked with them because I wasn’t even sure it was supposed to be an art piece. It’s sort of like somebody took a metal I-beam and stuck in the ground. Only not as meaningful.
Another… uh… “inspiring” piece was where the artist clearly went the other way. It’s an arcane profusion of symbols welded together in the most flagrantly incoherent manner. I mean, we’re tlaking things like a semi-viking style longship, a moon, and a pair of legs sort of jumbled together. This is another piece that nobody understands. The art department didn’t even know it existed.
Now, before we proceeed to the piece’ de resistance, I want to menion that our gallery of paintings and photots and such media is really fantastic. Sure, not everything is a winner, but the compositions are clearly chosen with an eye to skill and character. Not all of them communicate something deep, mind you, but they’re not just random trash.
Enter our latest piece of “art”. In the middle of campus, right between the humanities, the library, and the theater, on the huge pedestrian mall, we get the whirlwind. Apparently the piece is supposed to represent the idea of, uh… motion or ebergy of the storm or something. What it actually is a collection of gutters bolted togther in an erratic circular shape. It’s ugly, and its ugliness is only enhanced by the coimplete lack of talent or skill in creating it. It’s awful, and the awfulness is only encouraged by the complete lack of symmetry or proportion.
It looks something like a mad mini-gold couse designer tried to create an experimental nightmare-creation engine in his laborotory and shot himself after succeeding. It’s so ugly I’ve known people to deliberately avert their gaze just to keep it out of view. Worse, the damn thing is actually located dead smack in the middle of the mall so you have to walk around, and is proudly displayed with lights focused on it to attract attention even at night. The artist stuck a daisy-like sun on top, which vaguely looks like a cheap roadside motel sign. it does not help.
The effect is probably not helped by the absolute dick of an “artist” who, after receiving heavily justified and frankly far-too-kind criticism for his unmitigated pile of crap, gave an interview sugggesting that since we didn’t “get” her piece, we were all simply too ignorant to judge art, and should therefore sit down and shut up. After all, we didn’t go to art school, so we’re not allowed to tell her talentless ass she’s a talentless hack.
The piece is entitled “A Startling Whirlwind of Opportunity,” by Alice Aycock. I think her name is quite accurate. Only A Cock would make a “sculpture” they need security camers to keep people fom vandalizing it. They should just let people do it, as it could only improve the thing.
Here is a picture of it: http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/image.aspx?f=1&guid=365dedff-fc97-4209-80bb-6c15b6808654
Do not be fooled. The actual sculpure isn’t anything like as pretty as this picture makes it look. The effect is not helped b the fact that we have early-modern but more-or-less traditional buildings on either side, including the awkward but likable library (It looks like a Q-bert stage. Really). The mall itself in a lovely greenspace with some really nice touches. It also clashes horribly with the damn pile of trash.