14 May 2009

Sweet imitation

Cheryl Bernstein's blog, has noted a local business appropriating art from its immediate environment for their own marketing use; in this case it's Neil Dawson's CHALICE. As we have already seen here on AFS, public art and puddings are not such a strange mix (let's not forget this other example in Christchurch).

Despite their scale, the light-handed way Dawson's works define space make them a ghostly presence on the landscape and hard to find from above. His iconic work FERNS in Wellington, despite its much-reproduced presence in local marketing, is barely a shimmer and a shadow. (While you're in Civic Square, note that City Gallery's pre-construction incarnation lives on in google maps.)

The Len Lye Foundation's WIND WAND (street view HERE), now commonly seen in all manner of local marketing, attracted many tributes when it first went up. For a period, there seemed to be an imitation Wind Wand in every back yard. Although the intention was mostly irreverent, one can't complain when a substantial portion of of a provincial city start making their own kinetic sculptures from found objects: bendy PVC pipes capped with gumboots, modified washing lines etc. Dawson doesn't seem to mind a little DIY either, and this website even has a build-your-own sphere page.

But let's not forget Hallensteins' much more cynical handling of being called up for its appropriation of John Radford's TIP sculptures in Ponsonby Park, defended by law firm Hesketh Henry who are also trying to market themselves as art lawyers. Some people want to have their cake and eat it too.

Image: Here we give thanks to Lye (bamboo and crystal vase - don't tell Mrs ArtFromSpace)

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Art from Space is an exploration of art-related phenomena that manifests in interesting ways on Google’s aerial maps. It is also an experiment in curatorial practice; collecting, presenting and contextualising items in ways that users can explore, free of curator-imposed framing and sequencing. This blog is Art from Space’s developmental musings made public, where items are introduced to the project in real time, rather than awaiting the grand unveiling of a completed exhibition. Specific locations of interest are highlighted in CAPS and linked to a map for further exploration. Visit the mother ship HERE.