Thursday, September 13, 2012

Butt-Fugly Public Art of the Week-- September 13th

I. M. PEI Sculpture Garden: A Tribute by Jill Sablosky

222 South Second Street


                 Hey, I've always liked I.M. Pei. I usually hate shit from the time period he worked in, but a lot of Pei's stuff is pretty darn spiffy. On top of that, his name sounds like a British person saying "I am Pee". His Society Hill Towers helped bring Society Hill up to the kick-ass status it has today. So how do we honor Pei? How did we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Society Hill Towers? BY NAMING A BUNCH OF FUCKED UP ROCKS AFTER HIM!!!
               I.M Pei Sculpture Garden: A Tribute was installed in 2003 and dedicated on July 30th of the same year. Somehow, these hunks of marble are supposed to honor Pei in some way. The rectangular rock is supposed to be a bench and the other couple of rocks are supposed to be a sundial. It looks more like an iron trying to get wrinkles out of the slate or whatever the fuck that is below. I hate when part of an public art piece is supposed to be a bench... either everyone starts sitting on it and fucking up the artwork, or NOBODY sits on it because its in the middle of a garden and is not obvious as a bench!! Hint hint!!
               I always complain that there's not a lot of newish public art pieces by Philly artists, but this one makes me regret ever saying that. The artist for this one was local, as was the landscape architect and public art consultant. Wait a minute... public art CONSULTANT? That's right, this pile of shit had a public art "consultant". What does such a person do? Obviously they have no responsibility regarding the context or design of a public art piece, so what the fuck?
               I want to be a public art consultant! You know how I know I would do a good job? When I saw something like this being proposed, I would say "IT FUCKING SUCKS!!!". There. I am now more qualified than the public art consultant that oversaw this mess. But seriously... what the fuck was going through their heads?
              From what I can gather, the Italian marble pieces are supposed to be representative of stone formations from Pei's childhood garden. What the FUUUUUCK!?!?! That's a stretch and a half. Maybe for the 50th Anniversary, a new I.M. Pei tribute should be made.... but what would be more appropriate? Well, since pretty much ANYTHING would be more appropriate than this, I propose a statue of Pei taking a shit on a typical Society Hill NIMBY... think about it.
                Society Hill was a slum when Pei found it... he helped the folks taking a risk to bring the neighborhood back by designing these kick-ass towers (in an era of terrible, terrible architecture). Now, almost 50 years later, that same neighborhood carries some of the biggest anti-development Super-NIMBYs-- the most powerful in the city. Had these morons lived there when the Towers were built, they would have demanded silly design change after silly design change, and would have finally lawsuited the developer to death. Newmarket anyone?
             Therefore, my idea of a giant I.M. Pei taking a big dump on a NIMBY would be 700 nonillion times more appropriate than a bunch of shitty marble. I nominate myself as Public Art "Consultant". HA!

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