Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Committee chosen "PUBLIC ART" versus old stuff people like: How it works in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor

In the cosmopolitan and sophisticated People's Republic of Ann Arbor a committee of art connoisseurs appointed by our betters picks and chooses the city's official public art. The most famous selection by the Art Commissars is the $750,000 sculpture for the city hall building.  Described as a bronze girder with water flowing over it  this piece is currently being installed. This is a good example of  government funded public art. Many of the uncouth proles who still inhabit the PRAA have mocking dubbed this work of Public Art "Heiftje's Folly" after our mayor or "The Urinal" presumably because the flowing water aspect of it resembles one.

For comparison consider the fate of a historic sign from the doo-wop era (i.e., 1950's) that graced the Beer Depot at William & Main for going on six decades that blew down last spring. The city has denied a permit to reinstall that bit of uniquely Ann Arbor public art. Go figure?

Now go figure which of the two items mentioned above most people would consider historic, beautiful, and uniquely Ann Arbor? One would cost right around $10K of private money (Beer Depot) to repair and reinstall or the one that cost an eye-popping $750K of taxpayer money (The City Hall Urinal)?

The outcome here is stoopid, expensive and undemocratic without a doubt. However it's also daily life in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor with its tone deaf and hermetically sealed political system that has metastasized  over the years too.