14 July 2006

Wanted: One Left Arm

Fredericton—already getting a heightened allotment of arts news coverage because the litigeous descendents of New Brunswick's own Lord Beaverbook claim they, and not the gallery own hundreds of artworks in the collection of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery—can now add "sculpture vandals" to it's list of attractions.

Are the WANTED posters and reward for Venus di Milo's missing limbs still good? What are the Top Ten on Interpol's Most Wanted Missing Art Appendages list? How often have the limbs, ears, nose or other parts of figure sculptures been damaged or destroyed? The act of defacing public art is only seconds younger than the act of making art. They are fraternal twins.

Perhaps a Crime Stoppers video could be made about this act of art vandalism in the weeks leading up to last night's Culture Crawl 2006—Sculpture event: "Call 1-800-222-TIPS, if you know anything about this crime . . . " It might work. It would certainly be a great PR boost for Gerald Beaulieu, this summer's artist-in-residence at Gallery Connexion and his already acknowledged sometimes controversial sculptures.

One might think that the city encourages this delimbing behaviour . . . Many nights, especially summer weekend nights, open windows admit the sounds and/or noise of nightlife people travelling to and from the clubs. Mornings find branches torn from trees, small trees—especially the cage act ones set in beautification sidewalks—snapped in half, flower plants ripped from window boxes and gardens, window boxes ripped from houses, broken bottles and windows, drop-kicked mail boxes, late night fast food garbage and vomit on steps and sidewalks, et cetera. A few years ago, an artist friend had the wreath on her door set on fire during the night. It's not the wind that does this . . .

Not to be outdone, at this very moment a city work crew is outside my window. One of the crews that used to use the famed SLOW MEN WORKING IN TREES signs. Chainsaw and hand-held saws leave tree limbs scattered across sidewalks and road. Behind them comes the cleanup crew with a Vermeer chipping machine so not in the spirit of Johannes Vermeer, the 17th c. Dutch painter.

T: StormTech
loc: comCtr
temp: 16 C
sound: Tthe Brian Jonestown Massacre Strung Out In Heaven + chainsaws & a wood chipper

1 comment:

Jackie said...

I've often thought that it would be a goood idea for a photo essay. Going around and taking picts of all of the stupid vandalism that happens when drunks roam. I would entitle it "What's the point?"