Friday, October 5, 2007

Look Again ... #134

A large, raised platform has been erected at the corner of Aitken and Molesworth Streets, with a series of illustrated exhibition panels on rusty sheets of steel, highlighting the many government buildings in the vicinity. People can walk up onto the platform and take a fresh look around at the buildings and spaces of national importance. These include Parliament Buildings (to the right of the Beehive), the Court of Appeal (foreground, left of Beehive), the National Library of New Zealand (behind the photographer), Archives New Zealand (down Aitken St to the left) and the Beehive which can be seen between the steel panels in this photo.

Together they hold innumerable treasures that tell of our development as New Zealanders from the earliest days of settlement. Capital cities are the symbolic showcase of a nation. They are recognised as the place to experience the heritage, culture and achievements of a country. Yet New Zealand is out of step with the international trend that promotes national identity. At present, Wellington’s role as the capital of New Zealand is not formally managed and, as a result, is neither well portrayed nor celebrated. LOOK Again highlights what is currently an underwhelming urban space, and questions how it could be turned into a more visitor-friendly zone, indeed the heart of an inspired new Capital Centre.

One point to note is that over the last week during the creation of this installation the steel panels were standing upright & vertical .. however Sunday night was extremely windy and you will now note that some of the panels look like Wellingtonians on a windy day ... bent over by the gentle zephyr breezes we have ... YEAH RIGHT !! and the latest chapter in this story is that we had gale force winds yesterday and the sculpture installation was considered a safety hazard to the public so the City Council workers came along and with the help of a crane lifted the steel sheet panels out and took them away.

So maybe the bare dirt installation really is a stronger metaphor for this barren underwhelming urban space, and is a plea to create a more visitor-friendly zone. YES PLEASE I say !

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