18 April 2007

Local icons.

Prompted by Sharyn’s piece on the Rotary Fountain in Burn’s Place, I did a quick survey of the postcard racks looking for other icons of cultural achievement and historical landmarks.
Alas – nothing!
Plenty of beaches and pelicans though.
I did stumble across (almost literally) the stone entrance to Grahame Park, ignominiously set in the fence at the back of “that” stadium. Perhaps, being at dog level, it celebrates a time when dogs (and people) freely could enjoy that part of the public foreshore, and also provide an amenity for them now.

Gosford Times has already featured Kendall’s Rock and the Reptile Park Dinosaur, and the Back Page this week has a nice image of the old Gosford School of Arts Building, but not much has survived “development”.

Do we have any grand civic structures, historical or aesthetic monuments, or do we need to acquire some. We have looked at William Pye’s Charybdis as an inspiration for a monument to common communal values (the Town Well), and one can’t avoid the example of Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North in defining a location and region.

Material presence informs awareness. In the past the Cathedral focussed a city on issues beyond the mundane and commercial, and the in-progress Buddhist Great Stupa of Compassion will undoubtedly redefine Bendigo,

Perhaps we should look to examples from elsewhere.

“There is a new trend in monument buildings in the countries of former Yugoslavia. After the wars that aimed to eradicate the multi-cultural character of the former society, now the monuments are built in celebration of that very character to globally recognized imaginary heroes that fight for justice and protect the innocent: Bruce Lee in Mostar (Bosnia), Rocky Balboa in Zitiste (Serbia), Winettou in Plitvice (Croatia), Tarzan in Medja (Serbia) - birthplace
of Jonny Weismueller, and Samantha Fox (before breast-reduction) in Cacak, the capital of Serbian country music. Significantly, the only place where such a monument faces desecration and vandalism is Mostar in Bosnia, also the only place still with multi-ethnic population. Is it so that Balkanians can accept theoretical multi-culturalism only once they practically destroy traces of culture of "others" around them?”
Via Nettime.

A plan to have a monument to Sigmund Freud has been turned down by locals in Prague who want to have a statue of a goat instead.
The monument will be erected in the area of the city known as Goat Square where there have been no goats for hundreds of years. Freud was born in the Czech Republic but lost out to the goats after locals started a protest group called "The Friends of the Goat".
Spokesman Stanislav Penc said: "A Freud monument can be erected anywhere in the Czech Republic, a goat monument only on Goat Square."
Via Ananova, who also provided us with the update below:

“Plans for a statue of former page three girl Samantha Fox in Serbia have been scrapped.
The tribute was ditched after she snubbed fans and then failed to turn up for a ministerial dinner staged in her honour after a concert in Serbia.
The former pin-up said: "The crowd made rude comments about my breasts."
The British singer had stormed off after the gig in the central Serbian town of Cacak after the crowd started singing a chant about wanting to see her breasts.
Local media said the hall she had played in had been only half full and the audience had made it clear they were not there to hear her sing.
Fans had last month said they were planning the statue in Cacak because they thought she was an idol who deserved a proper monument to her talents.
Now the plans have reportedly been scrapped after the backers pulled out following the concert.”

Could this be our opportunity?

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