public art: home : archives : Nov 2004


Oct 2004 > Nov 2004 > Dec 2004

dead or just sleeping? interpretation of public art in Brisbane | Nov 24, 2004

From the article in ABC News Online:

The sculpture, which is entitled Progress of civilisation in the state of Queensland has been in the triangular tympanum above the front entrance of Brisbane City Hall for more than 70 years.

In the sculpture, the state of Queensland is symbolised by a robed woman sending forth her explorers and settlers to tame the land.

On the far left are two Aboriginal people.

The first is depicted in a submissive pose with his spear pointing down to the ground while the second is lying under a shield and appears to be dead.

Some local historians say the second figure is not dead but just sleeping.

However, the official program from City Hall's opening in 1930 said: "On the left hand side of the tympanum, the native life is represented dying out before the approach of white man."

Brisbane Council of Elders' Herb Bligh says it is time his organisation confronted City Hall about the sculpture.

"It brings back that memory of the old days when the white people could do what they liked with you... I don't think it should be there," he said.

A growing number of Aboriginal elders agree something should be done.

art massacre - Harvard Square, 1767 | Nov 21, 2004

This is actually a very interesting article on student-run public art events at Harvard. (We are a long way from such events at my own university...). The story yields a bizarre titbit about the "ghastly Vespers Massacre" in which a madman attacked with an axe a group of Cambridge's "artistic and literary rebels" who were create a new sort of public art event... a human tableau.

Best Public Art in Asia - according to Time magazine | Nov 16, 2004

The ikebano displays in May on Omotesando, Tokyo. They are organized by ikebana school Sogetsu. I haven't been myself when the displays are on, but Omotesando is definitely the premiere shopping street of Asia. And was even before the opening of Aoki's Louis Vuitton shop. Herzog & de Meuron's Prada and Sejima's Dior are not far off.

soup sculpture in Hong Kong | Nov 6, 2004

The picture is by AFP, courtesy of the Pakistan Daily Times (which seems to have an eye for quirky public art pix). Sorry, I don't have info on the artist. I have a strange weakness for sculptural portrayals of fishballs....