Friday Roundup: Quebec's Biggest Codfish Edition

Friday Roundup: Quebec’s Biggest Codfish Edition

Welcome to another edition of the public art news roundup.

To start the roundup today, I’m going to repost some thoughts I published on my Medium account earlier this week. I’m focusing on a small facet of the continually unfolding and ceaselessly horrifying reports on the Pulse shooting and the events leading up to it. As for the grief I’m feeling following yet another fucking mass shooting, this one a specific attack on my community of queer people in our home, I have yet to put that into words.

PSA To Straight People Regarding Reports That Pulse Shooter Was Maybe Gay

Reports that the man who murdered 49 people in a gay nightclub this weekend was possibly gay himself are starting to accelerate.

I’m worried about how y’all straight people are going to process this information.

It’s possible that the shooter was a self-hating gay man whose internalized homophobia led him at least in part to commit the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Based on some reports, it seems more than possible. It’s also possible he was only visiting Pulse and using gay dating apps to scout like he apparently did at Disney.

But if he was gay — or if you’ve chosen to believe that he was because it makes sense to you — it would be a mistake to assume that that’s the key to this whole twisted, terrifying, painful, mind-numbing disaster. Aha, he was gay! Well that explains it. Just another one of those poor, fucked up fags. Pass the peas, etc.

Many times in my life, I’ve heard straight people respond “well, you know, he/she is probably just gay him/herself” in response to some homophobic remark or behavior.

That’s a tidy way to blame homophobia on gay people.

Just statistically speaking, there are a lot more straight people on Earth than gay people, and there are a TON of homophobes walking around. They can’t all be gay. Let’s take your cliche high school dickheads who pushed the young gay kid into a locker every time they passed him in the hallway. Probably some were gay. Most were not. And most picked that shit up from their straight parents or straight coaches or anti-gay religious dogma, and were allowed to do it by their straight school administrators, and until very recently were rarely if ever asked to think of gay people as people by straight-driven media, pop culture, and public policy.

Straight people are to blame for homophobia.

I realize this isn’t what you guys want to hear right now. You want to hear love is love is love is love is love and diversity is strength and hate never wins, etc.

But I’m scared that you’ll all throw up your hands now, hearing that the lives of dozens of gay people were lost at the hands of a deranged gay man, relieved of the burden of having to consider why somebody thought a gay nightclub was a target. Or how the homophobia bubbling in our culture could distill and putrefy in a violent person.

Straight people, please realize: whether or not this terrorist was gay, his homophobia did not come out of a vacuum. It was taught.

And because this is America, he was allowed to have a fucking assault rifle to express it.

Before we move to our regularly scheduled programming, some links: here’s how to find a place near you to give blood; here’s an easy guide to contacting your representatives about gun control.

As linked earlier this week, I wrote about Pittsburgh’s efforts to safeguard privately owned “public” art for Next City. And now it looks like the sculpture that sparked the whole effort will officially leave Pittsburgh, as expected; it’s headed for Seattle, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported yesterday.

Lack of City funding in a New Zealand town has lead to what one gallery cleaner called “disgusting” neglect of a multi-million dollar art collection, Stuff reported.

A new waterfront public art festival will kick off this fall in Canberra, Australia.

The Idaho Statesman followed the tortured public process behind a new artwork hanging in Eagle, Idaho’s city hall.

Israeli artist Dani Karavan requested on Wednesday that his relief on the wall of the Knesset Plenum Hall be taken down in light of the Israeli government’s conduct.

You can now check out what it’s like to be a bee at London’s new “The Hive” sculpture.

Artnet declared Mika Tajima’s new student-selected installation on the Queens, NYC waterfront “the summer’s hottest public artwork.”


“Meridian (Gold),” Mika Tajima. Photo: Yasunori Matsui. Source: SculptureCenter.

A West Hollywood artist put up an impromptu roadside public artwork in response to the Orlando shooting.

A sculpture eight years in the works is set to be installed on a roadway overpass.

Hyperallergic looked at “Percent for Green,” Alicia Grullón’s proposed environmental legislation, which “throws into relief some of the wherefores and whys behind Percent for Art legislation and public art more generally.”

A sculpture in Malibu, California has been officially deemed a “structure” by the City Council, meaning it’s subject to the City’s height restrictions.

The artist who created “Quebec’s biggest codfish” is threatening to sue regarding changes that have been made to the sculpture, which he called disfigurements.

Featured Image: Claude Rioux’s codfish sculpture photograpphed by Pierre-Paul Côté. Source: CBC.