I’ve been riding past this for weeks to and from work, waiting for a submission. Skink (aka the Cambridge Stink) comes through with the goods. Another laser cut piece? Really? That it’s neither good nor bad is its worst aspect. Fortunately Skink also goggled or woogled some Ai WeiWei for the true story. (Although it’s a little hard to grasp at times, all you need to know is public art isn’t art. And if it is, it’s bad. And not art.) Mt Lawley Station. Why does Mt Lawley Station get this, and Maylands Station gets a view of Mad Kuntz and The Penn?
Most public art is an embellishment of popular and mediocre sentiments, the approval of a safe and stable state of mind, and an abuse perpetrated by the value system and the aesthetics of the ruling class. Interesting artworks effectively disturb tradition, this popular and vulgar aesthetic, and the prevailing social ideology. An artwork unable to make people feel uncomfortable or to feel different is not one worth creating.
The ‘public’ in public art actually refers to a personal space. It does not contain an artistic value statement. It does not serve the public. It was not created for the public. It could be targeted at the public, but it could also completely ignore the existence of a public. Here, art has simply made effective use of a public environment. It does not have an obligation to beautify or adorn.
The only difference between public art and other art is that public art is placed in a non-private space. This makes you unable to do certain private things while around the artwork, but at night, when no one’s around, you can still piss on it.