Public art proposal No. 1

The former Rosemont Incinerator

So I suppose this is a call for assistance. I’ve never been involved in organizing a piece of public art, but I believe an excellent example is staring all of us in the face.

As an environmentalist, I consider massive incinerators to be not only an eyesore, but a lasting testament to just how incompetent we can be. By contrast, the above incinerator is no longer active, just a massive hulk of a building no one knows what to do with.

So here’s a proposal, one which is steeped in local pop history. Attach a gigantic inflatable pink pig to the roof of the building and moor the swine somewhere between the smokestacks, an enduring tribute to (in my opinion) the most original music-group of the last century, Pink Floyd.

The story goes like this: sometime in the late 1970s, my guess would be in support of Animals (no less!), Pink Floyd were performing at the Big O, back when international supergroups still sold-out massive arenas, as much a spectacle in and of itself as the show up front. Regardless, somewhere during the set, a demented fan began trying to scale a chainlink fence near the stage, idiotically shouting ‘play money’ or something like that. Pink Floyd was well-known for politely asking their adoring fans to, in essence, be cool, while they were performing their increasingly complex sonic masterpieces. An enraged Roger Waters tried in vain to quiet the disruptive crowd before finally spitting on the fence-sitter. I’ve had this story corroborated by my friend’s dad who was at the show.

From this unfortunate event sprang the basic idea behind The Wall, as Waters was feeling increasingly disconnected from his fans. A more enduring tribute I could not imagine, as we have a ‘half-Battersea‘ just waiting to be put to good use. Despite the incident in Montréal in 1977, witnessed by an estimated 80,000 people, Pink Floyd remains consistently ranked as one of the most popular music-groups in Québec.

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