Sunday, January 23, 2005

Garbage collectors offer art criticism courses

If this were Ontario, art lessons would be mandatory....

A German museum is offering art appreciation lessons to Frankfurt's sanitation workers, after garbage collectors lugged away a public art sculpture recently and sent it to the incinerator.

Peter Postleb, head of the city's Clean Frankfurt initiative, claimed responsibility Monday for the case of mistaken identity, after garbage collectors picked up and disposed of what they thought to be construction rubbish.

Though indeed made from yellow plastic sheeting used to encase cement, the item was actually a sculpture by Berlin artist Michael Beutler. It was part of a series of 10 sculptures commissioned by the municipal art society and exhibited around the city.

Postleb pointed out that in the past, his quick-moving, garbage-collection teams have avoided trashing outdoor sculptures made from everyday objects, including a car filled with sand and a bathtub tied to a tree with a leash.

Starting Sunday, the Städel Museum, at which Beutler studied, will begin monthly Check Your Art Sense! classes, at which the city's garbage collectors can learn about understanding and appreciating art.

Beutler has taken the situation in stride, saying that the trashed piece was a temporary work only to be displayed until Sunday and that the series was to be recycled after that anyway.


basil said...

At least they still have regular garbage pickup.

Publius said...

While doing research for a project of mine I came across this interesting piece of information which you may or may not be aware of. Sir Adam Beck, the architect of the state-owned Ontario Hydro, was once mayor of London. He infact served in the provincial legislature at the same time as he was mayor. Perhaps Beck is a well known figure with statues and streets named after him in London, or perhaps he is forgotten. Since your theme for the 150th anniversary of the city is 150 years of corruption and incompetence I should think that Adam Beck, one of the leading Canadian statists of the 20th century, would be Exhibit A. Here is the Wikipedia link:


Dick said...


After doing all this research, please make for me the link between Adam Beck as 'statist' and Adam Beck as corrupt and incompetent.

Anyone who opens a sanitorium on his own dime is pretty good in my books... and as a cigar making capitalist, he should be in the yours too!

Publius said...

Your right. I can't prove without a shadow of doubt that Beck was corrupt. However, since you seem to be such a fan, I'm sure you're familiar with how he destroyed private electricity in the province of Ontario; driving privately owned companies to the point of bankruptcy and then buying them up with government funds. While he never profited in cash, certainly he engaged in more than a little bit of empire building. As for the incompetence bit, that is matter of personal opinion. I believe that anyone who is proud of not making a profit is by definition incompetent. But then again, that's a matter of opinion.


basil said...

While I can think of no prominent streets, or hovering statues of Beck casting his shadow in our parks, there is - in typical London fashion - an exclusive condo development named after him on Richmond Street near Oxford, just north of "Richman Row".
Expect no finer honour here than that, unless you happen to be a long dead former brewer whose business heirs have gradually been closing up local operations - in which case they might name a budget busting exclusive sports complex after you.

MapMaster said...

Indeed, Adam Beck is almost forgotten in the annals of popular discourse here in London, except for the too rare occasions of mentioning the privatization of electricity provision. In the nature of, "What would Adam Beck say?!" I should judge by your comment, Publius, that we would be better off not caring.

Our favourite sons these days are Guy Lombardo, Frederick Banting and, yikes, David Suzuki. As someone who never goes to London, Publius shames us with his knowledge of the city. In the spirit of Gods of the Copybook Headings, the London Fog should embark on a series of profiles of the prominent individuals in London's history. And yet, this requires work! Any takers, you non-student editors of the London Fog?

Publius said...

Guy Lambardo I recall was a loyal son of London. Though he was a pretty loyal guy in general. The other two high tailed it out ASAP. Sukuzi left for B.C. Banting for U of T. One of the reasons I've never visited London, aside from the fact that I could travel less distance and be in Niagara-On-The Lake, are the stories I heard as an undergraduate at U of T from "Western Refugees." The university itself seems to be Sodom and Gamorrah, though probably more Gamorrah now. Which is fine. I don't condemn, and occasionally I even applaud. Only rarely will I join. Decadence is good, but at heart, despite by rate of blog posting, I'm a very lazy man. The city, however, I have been told is a large strip mall with thousands of seedy pubs and strip clubs and a downtown reminiscent of Mississauga if it had been run by "a committee of blind midgets." That is a direct quote from a second year poly sci student who feared for his prospective career in law and came north. I do know that Labatts was once headquartered in London as was London Life. Possibly the former HQs of these companies are superb pieces of architecture. Certainly some of the finest pieces of architecture in Toronto are current or former insurance HQs. Though I'm guessing not.

Just to be positive for a moment, yes it is hard to do when living in Trudeaupia, but is there anything good about London?
Is the traffic o.k.? Are housing prices relatively cheap, keeping in mind the tax rates? Is the crime rate low? Are the women attractive? Are winters pleasant and mild? Does the wind blow gently over the city granting contentment and peace to the citizenry?
You will agree it's better than Cuba? Until Cuba becomes a free country, anyway.