It seems that Australia’s capital city, Canberra, has a new poster child for government bloat. It’s this:
That’s a hot air balloon known as ‘Skywhale’. According to the Australian:
Skywhale, a 23m-high, 34m-wide hot air balloon resembling a whale-like creature, will be unveiled in Canberra tomorrow as the headline commission for the Centenary of Canberra celebrations. The balloon will be tethered to the National Gallery of Australia to coincide with a sculpture symposium before making its first flight over the capital on Monday.
. . .
Hyperrealist sculptor Piccinini, a former Australian Venice Biennale representative, said the work was a highlight of her career.
“I am so proud of this work,” she said. “It operates outside the realm of art; it’s also a feat of aeronautical engineering.”
There’s more at the link.
Personally, I think it’s the most hideous balloon monstrosity I’ve ever seen! What a way to commemorate a century of existence for the nation’s capital! It would serve pretty well as a symbol of Washington D.C. in this country, too – because, as Tim Blair pointed out in the Australian Telegraph:
The perfect symbol of our capital city – a bloated, gaseous, multi-breasted monster feeding those who dwell in its poisonous shadow while leeching off the rest of us … Nothing says “‘look at how many amazing people Canberra has produced” quite like a hideous airborne turtle with ten tits.
I couldn’t agree more! To make matters even worse, it seems that either $170,000 or $334,000 of taxpayer money (depending on whose statistics you believe – both figures are in Australian dollars) has been spent on this thing. Despite that, it’s still the property of the company that operates it – so in effect, taxpayers are subsidizing private
art bad taste at public expense (again).
Therefore, today’s Doofus award goes to Ms. Piccinici and everyone else involved in designing, building, funding and presenting this airborne catastrophe. One can only hope that some right-thinking Australian will shoot down the damn thing!