NostalgiaMigranta

02 Dec 2008 823 views
 
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photoblog image My Peachtree Street: Inside The Giant Head Conspiracy

My Peachtree Street: Inside The Giant Head Conspiracy

I'm almost embarrassed to promote this arguably the ugliest sculpture on Peachtree Street. As an example of a total lack of taste and an apotheosis of kitschiness, it stands in front of the Atlanta Symphony Hall. For those who are not familiar with the sculpture, this is a leftover from the "beautification" of the city to the 1996 Olympics. The sculpture is an amorphous giant half-torsoed head composed of the mannequins. Despite an almost physical aversion, I kept coming back, knowing a hidden shot waits for me somewhere in there. I just need to find it. Finally, one day I squeezed myself inside the head and saw the shot. Since then, you got to pay me to be anywhere near this "sculpture".

My Peachtree Street: Inside The Giant Head Conspiracy

I'm almost embarrassed to promote this arguably the ugliest sculpture on Peachtree Street. As an example of a total lack of taste and an apotheosis of kitschiness, it stands in front of the Atlanta Symphony Hall. For those who are not familiar with the sculpture, this is a leftover from the "beautification" of the city to the 1996 Olympics. The sculpture is an amorphous giant half-torsoed head composed of the mannequins. Despite an almost physical aversion, I kept coming back, knowing a hidden shot waits for me somewhere in there. I just need to find it. Finally, one day I squeezed myself inside the head and saw the shot. Since then, you got to pay me to be anywhere near this "sculpture".

comments (17)

A rather disturbing image really Vik. I was trying to work out the subliminal message - let's all go sky diving together perhaps?
vz-nostalgia: ...a message, Chris? I don't think there is one here. As with much of contemporary art. smile
I suppose someone thought it a good idea at the time. I often wonder if the attitude to some of this stuff is the artistic equivalent of the Emperor's new clothes.
vz-nostalgia: I think you got it right, Bill. For the unbiased eyes, the King is naked. I'm just surprised there are folks out there who are willing to pay for all this stuff (well, in this case it was our taxpayers' money).
Well, I have to say it looks ratherc interesting and appealing in this shot, but that might be the skill of the photographer. We have some excellent public art here, but one or two pieces that were terrifically ill-judged. I think that's a risk we have to run to get the good pieces.
vz-nostalgia: "...the skill of the photographer". You bet it is, Ian. smile I might take a picture of this thing and post a link, so you all have an idea what I'm talking about here.
Non è un'opera d'arte ma la foto è bella comunque.
vz-nostalgia: Well, I worked long and hard to squeeze something good out of this "art", Ms. Stef. smile
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 2 Dec 2008, 12:09
vz-nostalgia: I see love-hate relationships are getting popular nowadays, Ms. Philine. smile
"Kitschiness" is not a real word, Philine. You can't find it in a dictionary, as I made it up. I often do it to more precisely express my thoughts. smile
I guess you are right. I cured myself by finally finding the damn shot I was after. smile
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 2 Dec 2008, 14:20
If you feel really narky, VZ, I supposed you could always rearrange it with a well-applied car bumper...

personally...I like it, but could be due to your excellence with eye and camera as much as my [in]famous bad taste.
vz-nostalgia: a car bumper... hahaha You must be kidding, Ray. This thing is huge. You can't feel the scale on my picture. I shot the damn ugly thing during my walk at lunch today. I might post it in unassigned just for the reference.
  • Mike Reid
  • USA
  • 2 Dec 2008, 15:53
Viktor,
This is what I wrote when I first saw this photo. I still get the same feeling.

This photo is disturbingly compelling. I feel I am imprisoned in a cage designed by Albert Camus or John-Paul Sartre with advice from Friedrich Nietzsche. I think that you should title it "The Cage". When I look at this photo this is my experience:

I am trapped inside a head where I can only look out at the beautiful world through a cage made of happy childlike figures, whose very existence mocks my imprisoned state. Their mocking laugh though is a veil for their own anguish, because they are in turn imprisoned by being welded, contorted, hand to head and foot to neck. In their prison my existence mocks them because at least I can move within their cage while to form this cage they are bound. This causes them to mock even more bitterly. We are both trapped in a painful symbiotic relationship where the possibility of the joy of experiencing the world is ruined by the other. This is a world where your own happiness is reduced to revealing the misery of another, resulting in a downward spiral of despair, an increasing battle of schadenfreude.

The final anguish comes when I realize that this is only a creation of my own mind. I am alone and only inflicting pain on myself. The figures have no consciousness, no soul. They are simple metal. I am ascribing thought to them. The cage is only a crude representation of the cage of my own mind; my solitary existence, where I can never get out or truly know another.

But there is one last horror. Who created this cage, this web? An evil god or just a thoughtless artist who mindlessly created a device of torture.
I am forced to wait for either it to be revealed or until darkness comes.
vz-nostalgia: Well, all I can add, Mike, is I was risking my freedom and well could end up inside the real Cage, or I could be sent back to Siberia, as I broke the law by climbing the sculpture right next to the sign “Do Not Climb”. Hey, what CAN'T you do for the love of art!
By the way, it's Jean Paul to be correct, but John Paul will work too, if you look at Sartre as a Pope of existentialism. smile
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 2 Dec 2008, 17:08
Works well as a sculpture from this point of view, but I can imagine it would look very uninspiring from the outside.
vz-nostalgia: Now multiply what you imagined by 10, Mike. That's my real impression of this sculpture. smile
Looks like you got the best out of it Viktor
vz-nostalgia: Oh, I'm sure of that, Nig. smile
yikes Victor thats one hell of a bad waste of your tax dollars mateygrin And i doubt you could have made it look any better if you had spent all day in theresmile
vz-nostalgia: now you got me thinking, Tim. What could be a good waste of our tax dollars? smile Isn't it an oxymoron?
  • Scarlet
  • Netherlands
  • 3 Dec 2008, 09:36
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. I am always amazed at what some people call art or kitsch. Especially when they start talking about the 'meaning' or idea behind the object.
vz-nostalgia: I'm guilty of it myself, Ms. Scarlet, as I often try to push my own ideas about my photographs to others through the titles and written sketches. smile
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 3 Dec 2008, 13:56
A cranium of torsos - fortunately none in the position to multiply. Can you imagine having crania allover the city?

Since you will accept money to go there again - where can I send my 50c ? But before accepting smile the deal requires someone to take a clear picture of you inside this manequined thought palace grin
vz-nostalgia: A cranuim of torsos... that exactly what it is, Louis. How in the world I missed this thought? smile
Crania all over the city... this would be something from a David Cronenberg's movie. smile
A picture of me inside the head would be a clear path to my deportation back to Siberia, Louis. I don't want to experience this again, even for your 50 cents. smile
  • K.A.
  • S.A.
  • 3 Dec 2008, 16:58
vz-nostalgia: The Mannequins:
"Ah, finally you're here. We've been waiting for you for so damn long!"
Viktor:
"Hang in there, guys. You're doing fine. I'm gonna show your inner beauty to the whole world. Sorry, it took me that long to figure you out"

You know, this happens to people too, Ms. K.A. By the time we figure them out, they're gone. And all that's left is just a feeling of their inner beauty.
  • Ellie
  • England
  • 3 Dec 2008, 17:18
That's actually very clever, well done for finding the picture you were seeking. wink
vz-nostalgia: That is the trickiest part of this kind of photography, Ms. Ellie, to find the impossible angle or point of view. smile
  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 4 Dec 2008, 02:20
Don't you wonder what it would look like if we could get into anybody's head like that, Viktor?!! smile
vz-nostalgia: Well, Ms. Ginnie... The world will explode into a long-long war, and after that there would be a never ending peace, as we'd have no reason to lie to each other anymore. smile
vz-nostalgia: oh, Ms. Roz, what an unusual take on this photograph. I would never thought of tying these mannequins to a protective umbrella of loving relatives. Now looking at this again, it does make a perfect metaphoric sense to me.
You're wonderful, Ms. Roz. smile
  • Penny
  • United Kingdom
  • 9 Mar 2009, 22:44
well, I rather liked this shot, but perhaps I'd feel differently about the whole sculpture.
vz-nostalgia: I bet you would, Ms. Penny. The thing is I have little interest in photographing other people's art, unless I can present it in a way not intended to be presented by the artist. That's why it took me that long to come up with something interesting on this rather uninspiring sculpture. smile
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