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SCAPE SCRAPE or One Bad Apple in Every Barrel

Forum > Art Theory and History

by auguststoned
Article of the Month September 2008
SCRAPE-CURs Hello down there Christchurch.....is it Spring yet? I'd say, by the ahedonic & dyspeptic looks on the faces of the two SCRAPE curators - standing stonily, and appropriately enough, in front of a neo-Gothic pile - that Spring just can't come soon enough.

What's going on below with the art event formerly known as SCAPE... but now widely referred to as SCRAPE (as in SCRAPE the bottom of the APPLE barrel?).

Is SCRAPE (the public-art spectacular) as invisible to the public this time as reported the last time 'round?

Der, I'll answer my own question with some SCRAPE website copy about one of the artists (Erick Beltrán) ....

It seems "Beltrán has managed to recirculate stamps to residents of Christchurch, chosen randomly, during the Biennial. These stamps explore the nature of distribution, value systems, and how the mechanisms that control distribution contribute to our culture."

I have to admit, Erick....that is subtle! As my Father used to say about small towns – blink and you’ll miss it – or as deadbeat debtors are fond of promising – it’s in the mail. Or is it?

Is SCRAPE as interactive this time as it was last time ‘round?

Duh, I’ll answer my own question with some SCRAPE website copy about one of the artists (Marnie Slater) ….

“Tour guides will be expected to attend a series of workshops to be held in central Christchurch over July and August.” Ah, attending a workshop about how to be a docent and then being a docent...as a work of art. Now there’s an interactive (and on the bonus side, incestuous) activity sure to drum up (and enliven) general and specialized audiences. Money well spent if I do say so myself.

Mr. Billy Apple
Dontcha just love the following quote from SCRAPE's website about Billy Apple's contribution..........

"- a profound meditation on what it means to be an artist in an era of rampant capitalism? "

Hey, and speaking of rampant capitalism - how's the SCRAPE angel plastics heiress Lady Stewart ( Christchurch Socialite and art philanthropist #1) going these days?

And, how many-fucking-more times must I be coaxed to meditate profoundly - by breathless hyperbolic curatorial text? For fuck's sake, what they're talking about here are three castings of an apple in a department store display window. After I profoundly meditate (and experience epiphany) about Billy's 3 apples I just might go out and sell (IF I had any) my (now government subsidized) hedge fund shares. Unh! 

Here's another whopper about 'B-list' Apple from the SCRAPE .................

"In 1964, having changed his name, he moved to New York and established ‘Apple’, one of New York’s first alternative spaces. He soon became one of the key figures in the pop art movement."

1. This just in. No one in NYC (or Internationally, for that matter) knows of (or cares) who Billy Apple is (or should I say thinks he is). And further, no one in their right art-historical mind credits Apple as a " -key figure in the pop art movement."

2. Nowhere except in Apple's fevered imagination, his no doubt self penned Wikipedia entry and perhaps in dealer-gallery promotional copy can anything of substance be found on the web about Apple's so-called "alternative space" ..... by anyone's definition, a vanity gallery that went by the name of (you guessed it) APPLE....and for the most part showed APPLE.

3. A rose is a rose is a rose - but by any other name any Apple is still a Warhol. Feh.

But, why go on and on about (so to speak) a book I haven’t even read, when it would be much easier for the SCRAPers to go on and on about a show few will (at least from their description of the artworks) be able to actually see.

To misuse a Gertrude Stein-ism one last time here…. I suspect
“- there’s no there there.”
Patroness-Lady-Adrian Billy-Apple Art-INdustry-Mob-Boss

1 to 20 of 29
14 articles & 130 comments since 22 May 2008
Helllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooo Christchurch.

Has anyone Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeen SCRAPE?

Can anyone seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee SCRAPE?

Other than opening night festivities has anyone seen (not heard, children) hide or hair of SCRAPE?

If so please check in as we await runners from the front lines.

Messengers with good or bad news will not ( I repeat, will not) be shot.
137 articles & 705 comments since 12 Feb 2005
Ah, I wish I too could be there for the festivities...
14 articles & 130 comments since 22 May 2008
Mr. Artbasher, sir. There's (obviously) no here here.
william blake
29 articles & 728 comments since 15 Aug 2006
Does anybody else catch a faint whiff of resemblance between Danae Mossman and Mary Elen Walton? Days of innocence, bib overalls, plaid shirts, hay barns...please curate me.
46 articles & 641 comments since 26 Jan 2006
I went to the Fusinato, Nixon , and the nz ers music thing.Was a quickfuck fest of animal male persona, what i mean is that these music nerds had these gadgets that they were selling to us like they knew how to play but really they invented the way to play this wire and gloop, so kneel in the god glumb and I did and my skin did go blurrr, I'm a little boy and my parents are out so i'm turning up the national radio and sitting in nans chair on her knitting. And wadding spit balls on the ceiling cause no ones noticed. Gave me indisputable thrills. I took some notes.
14 articles & 130 comments since 22 May 2008
Well, other than the fact that the actress who played Mary Ellen Walton is a Scientologist... I can't locate the resemblance?

Willy, thank you for breaking the silence about Ms. Mossman and the character Mary Ellen Walton.

Good night John Boy.
218 comments since 20 Jul 2007
would anyone here say no if they were invited to be part of scape ?
137 articles & 705 comments since 12 Feb 2005
They're impossible to refuse... even I, the contrarian, cannot resist them: I do their webby stuff.

I recall a similar lack of response to the festival two years ago?

http://www.artbash.co.nz/article.asp?id=865 (I tried to get people to be naughty on the SCAPE blog)
http://www.artbash.co.nz/article.asp?id=874 (JH elicited something I think).

I suppose JH has written something about it over on his site?

BTW great image captions.
william blake
29 articles & 728 comments since 15 Aug 2006
I know its faint but for me it is there...
1078109010smaryellen sendbinary.asp-2
14 articles & 130 comments since 22 May 2008
I'm not an artist but if I was I'd hope to say no.

But, considering that most of the work (at least according to the SCRAPE website) is so ephemeral as to make the question of participation moot.

The weekend Star Times had party shots of SCRAPE's opening night -

(in attendance were) Nationalistas David and Nicky Wagner, Bankrupt developer Murray Blackmore and government perennial wife Paddy Austin, plastic heiress LA Stewart a guy
( Peter Beck, dean of Christchurch Cathedral) with his collar on backwards, knots of networking arts marketers, youngsters caging free drinks and ignoring the floor talks and thank yous.

After writing all this I realized I actually don't care at all one way or another about SCRAPE, Christchurch, or who or who wasn't invited and why. Maybe I've just had a hard day or maybe reading the comments from last year's SCRAPE (kindly provided here by Mr. Artbasher) brought me to the realization that..................... etc.
william blake
29 articles & 728 comments since 15 Aug 2006
Miss Mamie: We're here for such a brief time, but if we can make some sense out of life, and look at it with wonder and amazement, and leave some record of it behind for those who follow us, then we have made a contribution -
Miss Emily: - and it has all been worthwhile.
John-Boy (who has just arrived): Amen!
1 articles & 22 comments since 31 May 2006
when the grand 'world exhibitions' were held in ye ol' victorian times, most of the public went along to look at tractors and threshers rather than 'fine art'. much had been made of the the huge visitor numbers to these shows as some sort of 'democratisation of art' and 'public engagement' - but it turns out the butter and fertiliser was of most interest to people, and the landscape painting on display was just added for an air of refinement or cultural capital to what was essentially a big A&P show.

i think the general public has never really liked art and never will.
218 comments since 20 Jul 2007
Augustoned, I actually thought the last Scape was really good. it was, as intended, thought provoking and much of it was really engaging (especially some of the video pieces, and et al's installation among others) enough so to draw me back a few times. This years scape is conceptually enticing, but it isn't so rewarding when you take a walk around the works. In fact if anything I've found it too literal and not ephemeral enough to provoke much contemplation. However taken in its entirety it's still an enjoyable experience, perhaps you have to be there.
218 comments since 20 Jul 2007
I think people, general public included, will rarely like anything they cant understand!  If people here struggle to understand scape what chance does the general public have!
william blake
29 articles & 728 comments since 15 Aug 2006
peneloping. i think the landscape painting in those big victorian exhibitions were put forward as real estate posters as much as the air of culture.
1 articles & 323 comments since 27 Dec 2007
MR -scape is not so hard to understand...the problems for me with large scale public projects such as Scape are more to do with blandness than with difficulty... with so many 'project partners' to please the ideas that make it through the commissioning process can tend to be a bit formulaic. It will be interesting to compare Scape with the One Day Sculpture project after the event: similar number of works similar budget (give or take 10 grand here or there) but quite different outcome expectations and commissioning processes.

the whole 'butterfly effect' thing is quite funny if you consider how much cash has been spent on the event, do you suppose the organisers want to shift expectations away from large visitor numbers?

although the very humble goal of tickling one person on the street is at least a positive move away from previous grand expectations of 'bringing art to the people' . ( or is it a new manifestation of the same idea without having to prove that anyone actually saw the work?)

Months ago Fulya Erdemci said some nice things about how she is motivated -in general when thinking about public space- by creating an interesting and sensual experience for the person walking. I havent yet had a chance to see the show, can anyone who has seen it comment on what it is like to walk around?
218 comments since 20 Jul 2007
Nosferatu, I wasn't really commenting on the works being too hard to understand, in fact the opposite, I found the works too easy! what may be difficult for the general public to understand is the point of an event like Scape. Especially if it is supposedly aimed at them.

I liked Andrew Paul Woods piece on Scape in the Press this morning, pretty much summed it up for me.
1 articles & 323 comments since 27 Dec 2007
I take your point...
General public are supposed to be grateful for the light shining from above (or the roaring wind of change from the flapping butterflies as the case may be) and the correct response is first casting many admiring glances at the curators followed by purchasing large amounts of sponsors product.
1 articles & 22 comments since 31 May 2006
is APW's write up online anywhere?
de Selby
1 articles & 5 comments since 17 May 2007
Perhaps Andrew could post the article directly on artbash? Stick it to the man like?
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