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Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The debate goes on...


Above: Rendering of the Magic Jug in situ; via Belfast Streets Ahead


On this morning's Good Morning Ulster, the debate on the Magic Jug continued...

You can listen to the piece on the BBC iPlayer here - it starts at around 1 hr 52 mins.

Some of the main arguments are outlined below...

"It's not going to resonate with people, because it's not designed by someone who understands the people of Belfast. What makes great art? Why should it go here? There was no debate." (Will Chamberlain)

"We need a bit more transparency in how public money is spent. We don't want to be just given public art and told why it's good for us." (Daniel Jewesbury)

"Everything like that brightens the place up and makes it nice."
"It's like dressing a room."
"I think the worst people to ask are the experts in the field of architecture and art."
"I think the public are the ones who should decide because they're the ones who are going to be paying for it." (Public on Fountain Street)

"The whole concept of the city means discussion, and it means that it has to be held in a very open forum. We can't have people behind closed doors making decisions that don't engage with the people. It goes right back to the ancient idea of a city, and it has a lot to say about how you then put art in a city as well." (Mark Hackett)

"The response that we got around the city centre was extremely positive. I think what you are hearing is a small bunch of "experts" who are getting into a debate about the merits of what is art, which is not reflective of the debate you hear on the streets and which your reporter picked up. And that's a debate which very much welcomes this investment. From a town centre manager's perspective, a lot of my colleagues in other cities would be delighted that a government department was making this sort of investment. I think some existential debate about what is art is not particularly helpful... Not only are we doing this dressing exercise and giving ourselves something that looks very attractive, actually it has a physical purpose of connecting areas, drawing lines of sight and helping people move around the city." (Andrew Irvine, BCCM)


More:
- Read the report of the meeting held at PLACE on Monday 26th May
- NO MORE PUBLIC ART IN BELFAST! - Facebook group
- Belfast's Magic Jug? - Slugger O'Toole
- Smash or hug the jug? - Slugger O'Toole

2 comments:

B. B. said...

That jug looks worrying. It reminds me, for different reasons, of the Gateway Sculpture in Dun Laoghaire, which was an ugly piece of public art and which has now gone to a happier place after becoming an unofficial grafitti wall. If there's no public love for the Jug I can see the same thing happening there.

Conor @ PLACE said...

Thanks B.B.

It's hard to know how people will react when a piece is actually placed in the street.

(There's a bit of discussion about the Gateway on this Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/1367975542/)