Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Worst of Perth

Curious about other instances of public art, I entered "worst examples of public art" into everybody's favourite search engine and came upon a site called The Worst of Perth, which has as its cut-line: "The worst examples of architecture, design, culture and humanity in Perth, Western Australia." The example up top is explained in the link.

But is this a bad example? A good example of a bad example?

Although it is difficult to judge public art without being there to experience it (just as it is difficult to judge a painting without seeing it in the flesh), what intrigues me about this work is how it responds to the movement of the sun throughout the day. What concerns me, however, are its sharp edges in relation to the blunt force of trains zooming in and out of the station, where the work is sited.

Something that often goes wrong with public art, and sculpture in general, is an inconsideration of the work and its siting with respect to the bodies that negotiates it. A railway platform is one of waiting. Occasionally these platforms get overcrowded, and when they do, they become frightening places. I would not want to be on this particular platform in the midst of a swelling crowd.

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