Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lodge Grass

Lodge Grass

The transit mall art tour continues with another example of the "Lumpy Little Dudes On Posts" movement so beloved by some unnamed art buyer at TriMet or RACC. This one, "Lodge Grass", isn't annoying (to me) like the others we've covered so far. TriMet's official public art tour (which is less fun than mine) describes it thusly:

The title of John Buck's Lodge Grass refers to a Montana town originally settled by Native Americans and to the name for a range of plants used by indigenous peoples to make shelters. The artist has used related symbols and imagery for the figure's head and shoulders.

RACC describes it quite similarly:

The title of John Buck's sculpture, Lodge Grass, refers to a town in Big Horn County, Montana, that was originally settled by Native Americans. Lodge grass is also the name for a range of plants used by indigenous peoples to make shelters. As the environment has evolved and useful plants such as lodge grass have disappeared, the thistle and other noxious weeds have replaced them, in the same way that wilderness areas have been replaced by suburban developments.

So, in part, the piece serves to mutely reproach the commuting suburbanites who pass by it every day on the way to and from their cubicles, and they don't even know they're being reproached. Or maybe I'm reading too much into the siting decision, I'm not entirely sure. I note that neither description bothers to mention the nude female figure without a head that holds up the various symbolic bits. It's a curious omission, that's all I'm saying.

Lodge Grass

In any case, it's easy to imagine "Lodge Grass" in the Portland public-art-come-to-life horror movie I brainstormed in the last post. Magic power: Horrible woody tentacles sprouting from its head, seizing and devouring everything in its path. Key weakness: Lack of eyes and ears; complete inability to communicate with fellow monsters; tentacles are right-handed, leaving the left side vulnerable.

Lodge Grass

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