Thursday, September 19, 2013

What do you think?

This has nothing to do with commuting on two wheels, but it made me chuckle.

We were visiting the amazing Chihuly exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and came upon this in an exhibition space.
I immediately thought of a band of native people getting even with an ATV careening across their land, or Custer's last stand, which was the second thought that crossed my mind.

It's an art installation currently displayed at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

What do you think?


The City Mouse in the Country said...

I think I would hate to see the driver.

RichardM said...

I think that it is a sad commentary on what is considered "fine art". I guess if anything, I'm offended. Not that I like the sound or ATVs running through the woods but in some areas, it is equivalent to any other vehicle (i.e. not recreational).

kanjas said...

I find it very odd to call that "work of art". Nowadays art is so overrated that even a dog poo slammed into a wall is considered art.

David Masse said...

Rob, yes there is that literal explicit violence depicted, and the machine has no motion without a rider, so it does make you think of how the rider fared.

On another level though, arrows couldn't really bring down an ATV, or cause it to spill do much oil, so it might be a metaphore for killing an animal in a hunt. But no hunter could fire so many arrows, when one or two would do.

So on another level it calls to mind a group of shooters letting loose a hail of arrows with deadly accuracy. The ATV was terminated with extreme prejudice.

Around here ATVs are mostly used either for off-roading for sport, or hunting. So it might be interpreted as the artist's frustration with how the ATVs disrupt the peaceful enjoyment of nature, or how hunted animals are no match for the hunters.

So I see it as an artist's protest aimed at the role ATVs play here. In that way I find it funny. Like an editorial cartoon. In that way it's creative, over the top, and I chuckled at the intensity of it.

David Masse said...

Richard, I agree that someone who sees ATVs in a context where they are essential vehicles in every day use, whether for prospecting or daily use in the north would be offended. It would then be interpreted as an attack on a way of life, and not an attack on a wasteful sport.

It's interesting to me because clearly the thing makes a strong statement, and it's enough to amuse or offend, depending on the viewer's context.

David Masse said...

W, I agree that art is mostly attractive and pleasant to view, and most often expresses the artist's appreciation for the subject, whether it's a painting of a person, or a landscape, a still life, or an abstraction.

But there is also a side of art that is meant to challenge the viewer, to make us think, to provoke a reaction, to involve the viewer more intimately.

I see your blog is written in Portuguese. Unfortunately I can't understand your posts fully, and I certainly could never comment in Portuguese.

Welcome to the Scootcommute. Thanks for dropping by.

Trobairitz said...

Interesting that it is an art piece.

I am sure I could find one with bullet holes in the rural counties around here.

Unknown said...


when I was "back East" I noticed lots of ATV's being driven on the street, pretending to be cars. They aren't allowed to do that here. They are confined to "off road", unmaintained roads and are usually trailered to their destinations. Perhaps in unpopulated rural BC they are used as transporation due to lack of other options but I am not sure they can be licensed to operate on paved roads. I think you have more of a problem with them where you are.

I also noticed young people using them to get to school in Newfoundland. Again, due to lack of transporation options

I would imagine they are a necessity for survival in Alaska, the best tool for the job in a rugged environment

Riding the Wet Coast

Steve Williams said...

When I looked at the image I didn't see it so much as a statement about ATVs as I did about technology in general. Or maybe annoying technology. Could easily be a cell phone (with tiny arrows), a Harley, chainsaw, leaf blower, automobile, computer. Maybe the artist was commenting on machinery in our lives that perhaps might be harming us in some manner.

I do know that it would not work as a piece with a Vespa full of arrows. The correct depiction of the Vespa in an installation would show it aligned with Penicillin, Polio vaccine, etc. Good medicine...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks
ScooterNSticks on Twitter

len@RE-GLAZE-IT said...

Hi David ,
Reminds me of back to the future ....... Where Marty is driving towards the Indians .


David Masse said...

Trobairitz, arrows only do the trick in the eyes of an artist. Bullets really culd to the job.

I heard about a gun range in Texas where they let you bring stuff you want to destroy (appliances, computers, cars) and they'll rent you a 50 cal. machine gun for the time it takes to blow the offending article to smithereens.

Now that's effective and fun.

David Masse said...

Bob, ATVs are definitely a necessityin many places, and I'm sure that the artist didn't have those people in mind when he (or she) went about "killing" the ATV.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against ATVs. Susan and I and the 'kids' had a blast riding ATVs to the summit in Whistler last year.

I wouldn't trade a PTW for an ATV, but I can see the allure of charging along trails and splashing through streams and mud pits.

David Masse said...

Now Steve, that made me chuckle too.

And I agree that Vespas would be off the table, as would Macs, iPads and iPhones.

But my laptop, office phone, one of our old PCs, there could be a cottage industry riddling some of those things with arrows.

David Masse said...

he-he-he Len, nice one!

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