06 April 2009
Modern art? Head for the bike racks
How to take revenge on the taxi that keeps hooting at you to get out the way when you have a perfect right to be there? Crushing into a cube perhaps; or make it into a silly public installation, such as this one (right) currently littering the South Bank just in front of the Royal Festival Hall.
By the same artist (Ujino and the Rotators, in case Charles Saatchi is reading this) is an equally baffling display in the free bit of the Hayward Gallery round the corner, in which household appliances jerk into life and play technorubbish.
I'm all for novel uses for that cyclist's essential the A to Z street guide, as previous posts here have detailed. But this seems a waste of a good copy, which could otherwise be used to find the quickest way out. The installation finishes on Friday 24 April, so you won't be able to miss it after that.
To us, some of the everyday stuff you see in the streets is more interesting than most self-conscious modern-art. Up the road outside Morley College, for instance, we were cheered to see this no-nonsense old rod-brake bike.
By stripping off the cover to reveal the skeleton beneath the saddle (right), the artist is clearly making a statement about the unseen structures that support existence. And man's quest for identity in an urban environment. Or infinity. Or something.
Or perhaps they just can't be bothered to get a new saddle. Whatever the case, it's not one I'd choose for the World Naked Bike Ride.