One of Dunedin’s town councillors has quit the Art in Public Places Committee of the city council, claiming the temporary art in the lower Octagon looked like a black penis.  The sentiment has been widely reported.  I understand it is meant to be a Maori pou.  My dictionary translate that as meaning ‘post’.  What’s standing in the lower Octagon is a tupperwaka condom.

I can only hope that the resignation of the councillor has improved the intelligence quota of the Art in Public Places Committee.  I admit he didn’t get my vote.  It seems to me that the real shame is that this has taken out a quarter of the committee’s annual budget.  It is money that could be better spent.  Unfortunately Dunedin has not created space for art like, say, Wellington has.  Failing that I think we are bad judges of public art.

When Southern Dave and I went through the Octagon for the book-sale and saw the pou his observation was it looked like one of those public collection sites for smokers’ cigarette butts and ash.  I have been amused by those, especially the ones labeled Smokers, make sure someone knows where you are.  My dark humour considers that after you have squeezed one smoker into one of those there wouldn’t be room of another.  So finally art has provided us with a dispensory large enough to dispose of any number of smokers.  A great improvement and amenity for the city.

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