A new "thing" adorns the roof of the Christchurch Art Gallery. Quasi is a 5m-tall sculpture by local artist Ronnie van Hout, standing above the Gloucester/Montreal intersection until the end of 2017.
This sculpture was commissioned by the gallery and funded from its annual exhibitions budget. Someone in their infinite arty-farty wisdom thought Quasi would be really really culturally wonderous! And paid for it to be made! Seriously???!!!
I quote gallery director Jenny Harper from Aug.2014: "I'm utterly clear that good art really matters. I'm convinced that collections of art matter more than a single work or that of a single individual." So Jenny, what the HELL is that up on your roof then?
At the very least, it's a public eyesore!
At worst, it's a blatant abuse of public funds!
In a Press poll of approx.2300 votes, 50% said Quasi was "terrible", 30% said "awesome" and 20% had mixed feelings.
Van Hout says Quasi is a surreal gesture: "I'm not trying to tell people something. Often art does, but this is more like a surrealist artwork. A way of making art by juxtaposing things together..." he says.
A way of pocketing a big paycheck, I say.
Gallery director Jenny Harper says the sculpture will prompt varied reactions. "I think some people will be startled...affronted...they might say: 'Is this art?' I'm damn sure kids will love it." Riiiiiight!!!
And do kids pay rates to keep you employed, Jen-Jen darlink?
...meanwhile the patronising multi-coloured neon phrase along the opposite wall of the Art Gallery - Everything's Going To Be All Right - is looking decidely tongue-in-cheek these days, with a couple of the letters blown out!