(Standard ineffectual 'safety-washing' on Sydney Harbour Bridge)
Trivial Pursuit: in 'washing', what do ‘Art-washing’, 'Safety-washing', 'Green-washing' & even 'Park-refurbishment-washing' have in common?
= they are the new chic in 'corporate' moving-on powers!
The current trending towards outdoor public art (revealed in last Friday's SMH article The inside story on outdoor galleries) or ‘art-washing’ as it ought to be defined is nothing more than a bid to develop sugar coated ‘moving-on powers’ ensuring the extinguishment of creative public spontaneity.
Arguably the littering of Sydney’s public spaces with such questionable ‘art-washing’ hides the view of our surrounding 'Sydney-scapes', kills our community perceptions, and then influences any existing perceptive remnants by the very nature of this cunning larceny.
It's impossible not to notice that ‘art-washing’ is most common where public spaces are freely utilised by the public for their own particular purposes. So whilst I'll grant you that Aspire at Ultimo does possess some form of eerie attraction I want to know exactly how its installation has impacted the people who have used that space as sleeping quarters since that public space became available with the completion of the Western Distributor?
Nowhere is safe - Newtown currently awaits a 2.8m electrically lit art tower to be plonked in the middle of the space currently used for the popular informal & unregulated Saturday markets – talk about ‘moving-on powers-extraordinaire' - sigh!- that space is so perfect now - why interfere? - isn't there a 'doggie-doo' bin that needs fixing or could even do with a spot of 'art-washing' itself?...
...although we need to be careful recommending that course of action because that can turn into 'park-refurbishment-washing' which effectively removes a park completely out of the public realm for months on end, maybe even years - people die whilst waiting for their local park to be returned to them, and inevitably when it does come back to them there's nearly always been a little bit shaved off for new exciting commercial ventures - sigh again!
...& before I leave this galling subject, all too often accompanying ‘art-washing’ is another insidious ‘washing’ tactic successfully employed for public-space creep...
...‘music-washing’...I know, I know, I've covered it already this week - still at the risk of appearing repetitive I'm going to bleat this once again:
Why does Central Station waste bucket-loads of money on ridiculous licences to broadcast woeful surround-sound station music when there are so many talented buskers in Sydney?
Where have they ‘moved-on’ our buskers to? & how much more public space can they steal?
Enough is enough - we know what you're up to...
Quit diminishing our Commons!!!
Give us back our buskers...& give us back our public spaces!
They hang the man and flog the woman,
Who steals the goose from off the common,
Yet let the greater villain loose,
That steals the common from off the goose.
(anonymous protest poem from 17th century summing up anti-enclosure sentiment of the day)