Thursday, April 12, 2007
Chairs on Ice, January 25, by John Penner
Not long ago it became known that an artist was fined for leaving chairs on the ice across from the so-called new River Landing development. The self taught wood turner stated this act of "chairorism" was executed by a fellow artist and friend, infamous for his own phallic snow sculpture of a mushroom with a bulbous stem, who canoed to the spot and placed, as an unauthorized part of the Containment Exhibition, four maple chairs on the ice hoping to attract attention to the lack of space at the local Art Gallery and focus awarness of the arts in the community. It was also known this community prided itself as a cultural capital.
The Gallery's founder a local meat packer businessman, internationally known as The Ham Man, who built the single largest pork processing plant in the country which specialized in the killing, cutting and value-added processing of hogs and had selected this stunning location alongside the river for a building distinguished primarily by the elimination of ornament and simplification of form, now scowled from his grave.
Channelling through the present Gallery spokesperson he expressed the opinion it was a creative use of space. After all didn't Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II possess one of the artists' pieces in her permanent collection at Buckingham Palace.
Fear of offending royalty he allowed children and adults able to be childlike to play with specific chairs in the main gallery. He even invited renowned English (though living in the community and of Romanian descent) theatre and film actor, as well as director and writer to perform Climbing Chairs: Chairorist Monologues.
All this approved activity he hoped would divert municipal councillors away from chairorist actions including the now removed chair glued to a tree by City Hall. He wasn't sure the seven-member jury appointed by city council to determine, on the basis of quality and appropriateness, what art projects would be allowed in open spaces, in civic facilities and on city-owned property would be placated.
The busy valley pathways would be safe from gifts of beauty randomly placed without permission. The only exception was the two-storey chair tower at the doors of the gallery considered to be gallery property (sort of).
Exhausted the Ham Man tucked away his honorary Doctor of Laws degree and returned to the pale subways of his underground existence. Occasionally he visits the suface attempting to scale chair trees to reach the moon. He understands the moon to be a hole at the top of the sky through which he may escape. Failing he falls back harbouring a secret, valuable treasure resting content to have created a place of such character and personality, even if a controversial one, that all citizens could take pride in.
The assistant Fire chief advised all citizens to stay away from the river and stay off the ice.
- See: Writings
:: note :: ... apologies to Thomas Bernhard/The Voice Imitator/998 Times ...