Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fear, hate, dumb and will

Nosey has solved a mystery. I wish I could say I was a great sleuth, but it was the most bumbling, obvious, "derr" discovery.

A friend had tipped me off that one of the mysterious concrete remote controls, which had captured the popular imagination in a previous entry, could be found on Australia Street, engraved with Fear, rather than Hate. So I went to take a photo.

Approximately five metres from where this photo was taken is the New View Gallery, where the artist who created the remote controls is having an exhibition. All six designs of the remotes are displayed in the window for all the world to see, including super sleuths. There's Fear and Hate in the two different fonts, Dumb and Will.

This is Will, both the remote and the man.

Will Coles created the remotes from cement and stuck them on the footpaths of Newtown in the dead of night (to give the glue enough time to dry before people would stumble upon them in the morning). Most of them were destroyed by people trying to steal them, discovering that the glue is stronger than the cement.

He says there was no theory behind where they appeared, or what direction they were pointing in, except that many are located near friends' houses. Some of them are stuck on the concrete Gothic mile markers, which appeared around the base of street posts during the Blue Moon Festival because Will made those too! Unbelievably, given their size, ten of the original 13 markers have also gone missing.

Will didn't paint the remote outside the Starr Bowkett Co-Operative Building Society before placing it, which is thrilling because it means Starr Bowkett painted it themselves, just as I had hoped! I love that they have embraced it, making it part of the building.

The remotes and Will's other sculptures, transform an everyday item which we recognise and connect with, to prompt us, to make us question. "We were born to think, find and unravel, to solve problems", he says. He's definitely succeeded in inspiring me, and many others, to be inquisitive, and to look a little closer when we place our feet.

Will promises that more artworks will be appearing on our streets soon. But in the meantime, check out the exhibition, Buy More Art, at New View Gallery on Australia Street, running until the end of next week. You can even buy a remote, with matching television, to take home, or to install in your location of choice.


beth said...

Good sleuthing Nosey!

suzysiu said...

Ah I saw the one in Australia Street! I was so glad that I'd noticed it myself, I didn't stop to realize the gallery was nearby.

Books and Tea For Two said...

I noticed one on Enmore Road, near the Buddhist centre (I think.)

Anonymous said...

I saw one in the front yard of a house in Station Street

ace a spades said...

But " is it art". This question was answered by duchamp around 12000B.C. haven't we moved on? If you let people write articles about you with the heading " bad boy of sydney art" then i would surmise that the focus isn't art,but rather youself and building your art scene profile. Any one can be rude to patrons of the MCA, those people who give money so that young artists can have a small glimpse of a possible future.Badboy. Bad art.

Will said...

Re: ace of spades...

'But is it art?' is a humourous thing, sarcasm, or are you American? & Duchamp didn't answer the question, he ASKED it, the point being it can't really be answered, don't quote people if you don't understand them or their words.

I'll let any journo write ANYTHING about me, they're free to do so after all, & yes, it raises my profile, meaning I may make more money from my art without changing my art, this is a GOOD thing (no, it's NOT selling out, that is changing your work to fit a consumer & even that's debateable.)

I'm being rude about the MCA, not it's patrons, BIG difference, & it doesn't give much money to 'young artists'.

You like trying to take potshots at people that stick their heads up & do something just for the sake of it it would seem. Try something productive or creative instead.



Anonymous said...

Someone is painting over the remotes and the Council is chipping away at them

Anonymous said...

what does s.o.g. on the remotes mean?

Anonymous said...

s.o.g. I heard it means son of god

The Fitzroy Flasher said...

We have had the pleasure of this work down in Melbourne too, delightful!
I am developing quite a catalogue through the back lanes of Fitzroy, and someone kindly told me who it is, so I have tracked him down to your Blog. Awesome!

Anonymous said...

I've been noticing these around the streets for a few years now. I found a new one this morning and it absolutely made my day. I'm now keeping my own little photographic record