Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

CBC News: German garbage collectors trash outdoor sculpture:
"A German museum is offering art appreciation lessons to Frankfurt's sanitation workers, after garbage collectors lugged away a public art sculpture recently and sent it to the incinerator."

It seems to me that Frankfurt's sanitation men may already know art when they see it. Their boss points out that they did not disturb other odd bits of public art in recent months including a bathtub tethered to a tree with a dog leash and a car filled with sand. They did, however, cart away a piece composed by Michael Beutler consisting of yellow plastic sheeting of a sort commonly used on construction sites. This displays either discriminating taste or an unwillingness to lift heavy objects.

In typical elitist liberal fashion, however, the assumption has been made that the tastes of the masses need to be informed by the classes. Thus, Beutler's alma mater, the Stadel Museum, will be offering monthly classes titled "Check Your Art Sense!" so that sanitation workers can give up their day of rest to learn from their betters.

If this educational campaign doesn't succeed in ruining the sanitation workers' finely-honed BS detectors, I'd like to propose turning them loose on certain public spaces here in the USA. First stop, Allentown, Pennsylvania, home of some of the ugliest public art in America.


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