Saturday, July 16, 2005

Cargazer Coniferation


I finally made it down to the traffic circle to see the new art installation.

You may remember the furor over the last installation - Michael Hermesh's Baggage Handler - that put Penticton on the radar.

The new installation, a sculpture rendered from immense logs and suspended car hoods painted up by the local children, has received nary a peep of attention from either Penticton's media or the CBC.

I tried googling the work to pick up some details on it such as the artist's name and the title of the piece and spent about an hour searching various combinations until I hit upon a small segment in a past issue of the local paper. That's it. No other hits. I even googled the artist to no avail. There is a huge blight on the landscape and everyone is politely averting their eyes.

Cargazer Coniferation was created by Vancouver artist Monty Walden. I am impressed that something so enormous and so hideous could be installed in town with little fanfare. Could it be that the locals are still embarrassed from the Frank fiasco and are desparate to avoid national scrutiny?

Described by some as "totem-like", the pentagram shaped monstrosity rises up from the cement pad like a bad version of "modern primitive". D. thought it reminiscent of a Warcraft landscape. Ugh. Honestly, I have no idea how something of this magnitude could've gotten past the selection committee.

Director/Curator Curtis Joseph Collins has this to say about the choice of installation in the gallery newsletter;
Perhaps the most controvertial art to be shown in association with the gallery this summer will be Monty Walden's temporary installation in the Roundabout. As the chair of the City of Penticton's Public Art Advisory Committee, I remain hopeful that such a public art project marks a progressive effort within our community. However an onslaught of misinformed criticism in the local newspapers has me worried that those who refuse to accept installation as a valid practice may drown the voices of positive change. Art is no doubt a subjective experience and everyone is entitled to an opinion, however this is merely one site of many in Penticton that feature art. And as the organizer of this project I will not be deterred by stagnant minds. Walden's proposal was selected by the ten members of the Advisory Committee and then unanomously endorsed by City Council. Please support art in its many forms.

I can't wait to see what is in store for us next!


Blogger Zeke's, the Montreal Art Gallery said...


Don't fret - you got it here

I don't know if it is the same piece or a different one. But your traffic circle is getting press, still.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

thanks chris!

damn! i missed the gnomes. i really oughta leave the bedroom more often.

11:35 AM  

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