RM Vaughan
No. 108 – fall 2014

Monoceros: of the Earth, for the Stars (a meditation on the concretized magyck of FASTWÜRMS)

Since 2003, following the recommendations of a multi-levelled, multi-bureaucracy, multi-year study (too many cooks, too many spoons), the city of Toronto has implemented the Percent for Public Art Program – the goal of the program being to compel new private sector buildings to spend a minimum of 1% of their gross construction costs on the commission of new public art.

The results have been predictable: safe, family friendly art for safe, family friendly buildings. Condo art.

But there are always exceptions to every misrule …


Buried under the snow, the frog is a mound, perhaps a ceremonial mound, one filled with remains and offerings … or just a child’s winter fort.
It makes no difference. But only the End of Days will bury the spire, the horn (if then).

A frog and a tusk. A blob and a spire, a stone and a stick. These figures are simple, familiar(s), totemic, they kindle the back of the brain, the reptilian trunk, the knot of nerves where appetites rest, or refuse to rest (it’s a mood thing). We might even call this sculpture “charming,” because it speaks to children – but we can do so only if we acknowledge that children have no compass for menace (and thus, by the way, make the best converts, soldiers, fanatics). Besides, children will climb on the frog and hug the tusk and yet know nothing of either’s lustful, procreative, sex magyck fore-texts. That’s fine too –

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