Art Dystopia

Nihilism of Live Spy Surveillance Drone and Ice Cream

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'The End' sculpture in Trafalgar Square.

Temporary sculptures occupy the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square.  Seen by millions, it would be a great place to put a really informative or resonant message. However, this latest 'art' July 2020 has only a nihilistic statement; at best a joke. One glance and its over: who would want to even look at it again because we all know what a swirl of ice cream looks like.  Maybe its a weakly contrived nod to tourism in central London.

It has the weak journalistic content of a drone; not even in mechanical detail, but one which appears similar in size to the two flies!  Scientifically, insect sized drones have been designed, though not widely known.  The drone is actually a real surveillance camera with live stream.  Its hard to see the connection with anything by the artist's decision to add a 'drone' image to the flies on her ice cream, other than the fact of the increasing ubiquitousness of drones in daily life techtopian surveillance, and that they might land anywhere to do this job, like a fly.

Entitled 'The End' at least that represents the nihilistic approach of this work. There is a slight beauty in the swirl of the ice cream, but its common place and ruined by the ugliness of flies and drones, which is obviously, and simplistically, the purpose.  Additionally the artist was inspired to make it after the 2016 US Presidential Election; from which we can only presume she wasn't happy with the outcome! Like many artists she will be in line with Democrat and liberal responses, subjected in UK to the anti-Trump propaganda machine.

“For me we’ve been at a point of some kind of entropy for a long time,” she said. “When I was thinking of this work there was a sense for me of an undercurrent that was already there. . . . This feels like a continuation for that.” But there is “the chance for radical change inside any ending,”   Heather Phillipson, Guardian Interview

There is also a perverted factor in this work adding to the dystopic references, represented by the cherry, used in other artists' works to represent gender issues, especially LGBT and transgenderism; whether the young female artist Heather Phillipson is aware of this symbolism or not.

Mayor's Office Video of unveiling of 'The End' shows the fly in more detail, and the rotor blades moving on the drone.

The National Review also thinks this sculpture is more a curse than a thing of beauty, and asks if people being filmed by the drone and watched by anyone anywhere, is not an infringement on their liberty.  Would they even be aware they are being filmed?

"...by far the ugliest and most vacuous — a 30-foot lump of steel and polystyrene resembling a melting dollop of whipped cream with a fly, cherry, and drone on top."

A poorly written observer article: https://observer.com/2020/07/heather-phillipson-the-end-trafalgar-square-fourth-plinth-livestream-drone/

Sculpture of Social Engineering

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Covid nurse, Riga, Latvia. Image from Twitter

Covid statue 2020, Riga, Latvia.  This is the disneyfication of sculpture and disease, and misses the whole essence of sculpture, to carry ideas of important historical moments into the future; a future which might not look well on such a banal simplistic depiction of an illness.  To start with its a bit boring and ugly in its actual sculptural execution.  Colours are not necessary to depict a killer disease.  Natural copper or brass will do, and eventually blend in with the environment of nature and buildings.

The face has no expression. Masked, the eyes could be 'tired' but they are also 'mesmerised' to obey the Coronavirus 'god' of fear and distancing, as part of the new medical tyranny.  It also fuels encouragement of the control symbolism governments have enacted, forcing distancing, forcing people to wear masks; a cartoon image, without any sublime beauty of line and form, seemingly pitiful of itself.  Its a bit blind, like the march of socialism; "the glorification of Marxist 'hive mind' ".

The sculptor's concept could have included something of the patients, more about direct care.   Its cartoon quality is like a 'piece of news' turned into art.  In fact it is not 'Art', it is just a big simplistic image in 3D without finesse of any kind. It looks as if it was commissioned to an industrial concern, who simply reproduced an internet image in large 3D form, on a 3D printer.

Also, a human sized statue if they must, outside their hospital, would be reasonable if many have died there; but to have one so huge, 20ft, is disneyesque, to make out Covid-19 is the most important thing ever to have been fighting, and is about everyday nurses as 'heroes'.   To have such a large figure is like saying Covid is bigger than anything; almost as if to say Covid is there forever.  Open arms don't only symbolise eagerness to meet the disease challenge, but unknowing, and helplessness.

A photo installation board, showing nurses with patients would have been more interesting and relevant to show suffering and healing.  Alternatively, a well designed abstract sculpture, symbolising disease with the covid virus 'corona' cell image and a mask would have carried more weight.  The Corona image would have informed into the future, and with a mask would have shown its contagion.

[Note: Source funding links, sculptor name and reasoning?]

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