We recently had a chance to check out ‘MONUMENT‘, the latest in visual stimulation from artist/photographer/lunatic Liam Morgan. Having worked with Morgan in the past, we were not at all surprised to learn he’d be creating an unauthorized, large-scale public art project that uses enough electricity to fry a humpback whale.
Equally unsurprising is the fact that the experience was utterly mind-blowing. For one night, ‘MONUMENT’ essentially ran a fat red highlighter over the cycle of human greed and fuckwittery that lies etched in the surface of nearly every modern urban landscape.
Aside from a few irritated authorities, audience reactions ranged from periods of mesmerized silence to local inquiries concerning whether the project was meant to exorcise ghosts from the building. Ultimately it was a pretty amazing evening…especially when considering it was pulled off without a single arrest or electrocution death.
Rather than lapse into the clichéd “words-don’t-do-it-justice!”, we’ll simply defer to a few rad photos yoinked from Liammmm, and the far more eloquent artist’s statement found below.
In a prime location on the river-front in the middle of Bangkok sits an unfinished, abandoned 49-storey condominium called Sathon Unique. It was built in the early nineties. Do to an unclear combination of corruption, money-laundering and the expansion/burst of an economic bubble the project fell apart, creating an ‘instant-ruin’ and unintentional monument. It sat unused for 20 years and now holds a huge advertising billboard.
Monument is a (very) temporary, unsanctioned public lighting installation. It appropriates this existing structure and its meanings through the use of light. A lot of light. About 200,000 watts of red-coloured cinema lighting. The work treats the unfinished building as the monument it is- a monument to human acts and frailty and now the denial of decay and inevitable death. The building itself is a remnant of the implosion of a human construct which was harmful to many. This work appropriates the allegorical clarity of placing massive advertising billboards on such a monument; such advertising is promotion of the reconstruction of the very thing which imploded and caused this ominous monument to exist. By which, I mean the further push to produce/buy more of what is not needed with money that doesn’t yet exist. The billboard has an unintentional message; it speaks of the reproduction of failure.
But, only by taking this route of ambition does it seem we can create our meanings in an existence otherwise regarded as pointless.
And when he’s not lighting up the night sky, the man cooks up some pretty rad print editions, too.