Monday 30 March 2009

Everything is connected

I think that the One Day Sculpture story that has intrigued me most so far is the tale of the Santiago Sierra that wasn't. Brought to New Zealand to research a work by AUT's St Paul Street Gallery, Sierra's proposal was apparently turned down. Instead, an un-One Day Sculpture performance was carried out in Wellington this Saturday.

When the time comes for the ODSers to compile their documentation, I sincerely hope they approach the Dom Post and ask them for permission to include this story by Tom Fitzsimons about the work, which apparently consisted of a man standing in a room with his penis exposed. Viewers were required to queue outside the room and wait to be admitted.

From 'Artwork with fly undone proves a bit of a letdown':

One woman, a local artist, said her expectations were raised by the queue but the reality was less impressive. "When I went in the door, there was a man standing there with his fly undone and his penis hanging out."

The man, who may have been the artist, had a "brooding" look, but the woman stayed only "about 10 or 15 seconds", she said. "It was quite a funny thing ... In terms of an event, it was quite an occurrence." However, she said that kind of nudity was boring and she would be concerned if a lot of money had been spent bringing Sierra to town. "I don't know about [justifying] it economically ... that sort of stuff isn't really that shocking in art circles."

However, to my mind the most interesting part of the story is the final paragraph. Reinforcing my suspicion that NZ journalists have a specialised piece of editing software that prompts them to include random references to et al's Venice Biennale work in any art story that has a whiff of controversy, the final two lines of the Sierra piece read:

In 2005, an artwork by et al caused a stir when its creator refused to speak publicly about the Venice Biennale exhibit. Et al's earlier works had included a toilet that brayed like a donkey.


Tiki said...

Totally agree with you re: et al bit, and I said so in the comments to Fitzsimons' story... all of which have mysteriously disappeared...

Why do they allow an article to be commented on if they are just going to get rid of the comments later? (there were 6 when I posted).

John Hurrell said...

Forgive me for being more than a little dopey here, but comments disappeared from what? What site is being talked about here, Tiki?

With the problem that Emmerling has now gone to Venice? How did that logistical disaster happen? Maybe it was engineered?

Or is the problem that ODS got cold feet after inviting him? Surely they knew what they were getting when asking Sierra to participate? Did some sources of sponsorship freak?

Courtney Johnston said...

Hey John.

Tiki's talking about the news item on Stuff: she posted a comment, and when she went back, the comment stream had been deleted.

And as for your other questions - your speculation is as good as mine. That's why I'd love to see the full story in the ODS publication.

John Hurrell said...

I'd like to know more about Sierra's artwork. Was it the artist himself 'performing' the work? Perhaps he paid some other person to do it? I'd like to find out the motivation behind the work, or the meaning created in spite of - and not because of - the artist's intention.

Maybe it is an important work that occured in Welington? Perhaps art scholars all over the world in years to come will write volumes about its significance. I wonder how many art historians saw it?