Thursday, March 1, 2012

Butt-Fugly Public Art of the Week-- March 1st

Total Environment by Barbara Neijna

6th Street in front of Independence Place

I'm already bored with it. Pic from
                       Ya know, I'm sure that the Percent-for-Art requirement was created with all the best intentions, but the shit we've ended up with from it SUCKS. This massive piece of shit right here makes me question the whole idea. What the fuck is it? It seems to consist of a bunch of white arches, curves, stairways to nowhere, and a big blank square. What ass.
                       This comes from a sad year for Philadelphia public art, 1986. It was then that the Independence Square condo complex needed to satisfy their Percent-for-Shit requirement. The Redevelopment Authority was just expecting a single sculpture in the middle of the plaza sort of like the one that would be placed in front of the Rittenhouse Hotel two years later. Makes sense right?
                       Enter artist Barbara Neijna. She envisioned a mini sculpture garden that would encompass the whole  180' x 180' plaza with "sculpture, trees, flowers, ornamental paving, and lighting" that would be symbolic of the ancient residential architecture of Society Hill. Somehow, this lead to a bunch of white scrap aluminum being strewn all over the place. How the fuck is that supposed to relate to Society Hill?

                      This thing would work way better as a skate park. The first time I saw this piece of junk, that's what it was being used for. Back in my skateboard shop postal worker days (long story), I saw a video of skateboarder Mike Vallely skating on the halfpipe-looking part of this thing and fighting with the security guard. I tried my damnedest to find the video for this article, but I couldn't. If anyone out there has it or knows where I can find it, I'll add it. Maybe all this crap can be moved over to that skate park that's been planned (but never built) for the Schuylkill River Trail for the last 500 years.

The halfpipe on the right is what he was skating on. Pic from
                   I don't understand why so many pieces of art have to be named so stupidly. This one is called Total Environment. Total Environment? Total Enasserment!!! How is a bunch of shitty aluminum a TOTAL environment? Its barely any kind of environment!! Should have called it White Aluminum From Your Ass. Motherfuckers.

Aerial photo of the Enasserment from Bing.
                              All that had to do was put a cool figural statue in the middle of that plaza and it would look just fine. The Rittenhouse Hotel one is pretty nice... it leaves room for plantings and doesn't beat you over the head with stupidity. The Percent-for-Fart requirement needs to establish some kind of standard so we don't end up scarring the streetscape with crap like this for decades. This shit is a Crapintosh Apple.

1 comment:

  1. It's a waste of prime real estate. And in true Philadelphia fashion, it's a "garden" without a plant in sight.