“The question of beauty has been brought up a lot in this debate, which is a really provocative and sometimes problematic conversation,” she said. “I don’t think all work that is made in a public setting should necessarily be made with the mandate of making a space more beautiful.”
The artist in question, Keeley Haftner, describes her work as “emerging through notions of tradition, satire, gender, archive, labour, and transience.” Readers will be thrilled to discover that Ms Haftner’s previous efforts are no less colossal in their scope and profundity. Behold, for instance, this. If further evidence of greatness is required, there’s also the following 2012 performance piece, happily captured on video. The explanatory text reads,
In the video Waste Warrior Eats Apple, the protagonist (a ‘waste warrior’) attempts to consume an apple grown from petroleum products, having evolved out of a waste-induced Saskatchewan apocalypse. Eating an apple has long stood for female inadequacy – Eve’s original sin, the golden apple of coveted perpetual youth, the envy-inspired poisoning of young Snow White. But this warrior projects forward with an act of forced evolution, attempting to sustain herself on the very source of both female and human destruction.
Ponder that while you watch. And no skipping to the end.
Yes, hers is a mighty talent, a force to be reckoned with.
In the comments below the original link, Joan said,
Every pothole in every road must have already been filled in then.
Well, Ms Haftner has at least, albeit inadvertently, captured the ethos of so much “public” art, which is to say, socialised art in which the public has no say, and the mindset of the people it very often attracts. What with beauty being so “problematic” and, perhaps more to the point, difficult to achieve by people whose self-regard outstrips their ability to a comical degree. And so the good people of Saskatoon will get what they’re given. By people who know best. It’s the egalitarian way.
Despite a public reaction reported as “overwhelmingly negative,” Ms Haftner tells us that she “remains firmly unapologetic for having made and presented the work.” Her sculpture, which is expected to remain in situ for a year, has, she says, been “successful” in “promoting dialogue about public work in the city of Saskatoon.” Apparently she’s “provoking complex conversations.” By which Ms Haftner means, the public’s dislike of her work and its taxpayer funding somehow validates both. It’s a conceit we’ve seen before of course, being as it is a standard lie of the talent-deficient narcissist and social parasite.