MAX MAGNUS NORMAN'S KITSCH ART SCULPTURES:
Out in the Big World projects such as "Art on the streets" have been going on for some years now. Vividly decorated fibre glass cows, horses, bears and other kitschy things have appeared in minor and major cities around the globe.
Then the time came for our hole to join in. The city symbol of Sundsvall is the red dragon, it was hence a natural development that Lisa Renander and Julia Hamrin at Xcited choose a dragon as the object for the project over here, this after being inspired by the fishes of the German city Kaiserslautern. After a few turns the artist Christian Beijer designed the basic shape of the dragon. 30 fibreglass dragons were ordered from the fibre glass animal factory and then companies could buy these and hire an artist to decorate their dragon. A splendid idea that gave several artists work and money for a while. The project was though heavily worked against by the so called "county artist" (there's no good translation for his title), an artist appointed and given a full time payment by the state to work for the benefit(!) for the fine arts in the area, given a great deal of power regarding consultation and official funding of artsy projects. Several members of the KRO (The Swedish artist association) was being contacted and told to not participate in this (tasteless?) project. The effort to thwart the dragon invasion was taken that far that these people even tried to get the building permit for the project cancelled. These sampolits, political commissars, have seemingly not much power in the society besides being able to screw things up for individual artists. When it comes to projects such as this which has all the possibilities to become a success both culturally, financially and politically they luckily enough do not have much influence.
"My" dragon; The Draconaut, which was commissioned by the company Cybercom Group was ranked as the second best when the people voted for their favourite dragon. It seems as there's some arbitrary natural law that causes the best to most times end up on second place.
Since the dragons are made with the intention that children and intoxicated persons should be able to sit on them, it has almost become a part time job to repair The Draconaut. The motto of The Draconaut is "Your guide in the IT-space", perhaps it should have been "We come in pieces" (if IKEA hasn't already taken that slogan; they also own one of the dragons). I have just fixed a new helmet and a new headset for the dragon when this was written, earlier have I besides fixed countless of damages to the paint also repaired the air hoses. The three most popular dragons are also the ones that have been most badly beaten up. The winner; the dragon-mom Elvira with her dragon babies, is currently a lone dragon mother and the chrome coloured dragon Terminator which was ranked third was turned over a few weeks ago. Rowdies have the ultimate power on the streets of Sundsvall and not many are comfortable walking the streets during evening and night time.
My personal reflections is that I'm somewhat in doubt over the idea that people should be able to touch and climb works of art. The art is one of the few sacred instances left in our society - and perhaps the only legitimate seen from a humanistic perspective - and this ought to be respected. It has on several occasions been witnessed how passive, sometimes amused, parents have let their children do their best to sabotage the dragons. Oh, how cute, lets raise another asshole, as if the world hasn't got enough of them already! You do not need to be able to touch or jump on a work of art in order to make it interactive; even a seemingly static piece of art interacts with the mind/spirit/soul just by being observed. The reflection is what makes sense of it.
Another insight has occurred to me, and that is that the hooligans who reel around, screaming and vandalizing, and the "political commissars" are basically the same; the right and left arm of an extreme undefined conservative power. The difference is that the intellectuals use their education as their camouflage while the hooligans use booze. their motifs for doing what they are doing are exactly the same; mental atavism, a conservative longing back to a fabled easier-to-control past, some dreamland made up mostly of nothingness, away from a hard-to-grasp present which constantly threatens to outrun them.
Click on the buttons below the sculpture in order to see it from different angles.
Note that these sculptures are not mass produced; there is only one of each made.
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