Remixing a sculpture
Today I yarn bombed Geert Maas’ On The Beach that resides across from the Trottier Observatory on SFU’s Burnaby campus. It was for my remix assignment, and I decided not to charge anyone for doing it because I’m also not the kind of person who would put ads in my wedding invitations.
On The Beach was installed at the campus in 2002 and purchased from the artist in 2000. Maas’ work is displayed in more than 30 countries worldwide, so it’s kinda neat that we have one of his originals.
I wrote a piece about this sculpture and four other works of art around SFU for The Peak recently. This little brat is my favourite; I’m glad he has such a perfect orifice for yarn bombing. Unfortunately, I’ve shown this yarn bomb to two people so far and they’ve said it looks like a) a cigar or b) a flower phallus. I reasoned that a flower is pretty much a penis with pollen for sperm, but they didn’t listen.
My intention was to show nature reclaiming this piece in a vibrant way that contrasts the sculpture’s dull metal. Someone has even yarn bombed them before; these sculptures have been given cute necklaces and a hat/swimcap (??) thing. I think it’s important to not only appreciate art at SFU or make and display art at SFU, but to comment on the art already at SFU.
You know that giant painting above Images Theatre? This one I mean. It’s called British Columbia Pageant by Charles Comfort and it’s about the whitest depiction of BC’s history you could find. I remember when I first saw it I was like “Where’s the bloodshed, trauma, forced schooling, aggression, unrestrained violence, and thieving? Hmm…”
Other people were and still are thinking the same thing. Many have asked for this mural to be taken down. I think what happened instead was more powerful: art has been put up across from it in protest.
I won’t describe this art for you. I think you should go see it and think about it for yourself.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s important to question and work with the art you encounter. I love On The Beach, and I remixed it to add to it in this case, to make it stand out a bit more to passing students. However, if you find a piece you want to comment on, leave something behind that doesn’t harm the piece. No one likes book burnings. This follows the same principle.
I’ve considered crocheting some yarn blood to drape off British Columbia Pageant, but I think I wouldn’t be able to attach it successfully. Alas, I am short.