Art of the week is supposed to be a celebration of the creative and what’s beautiful and excellent in contemporary and historical art. On the other hand sometimes you need to look at what is considered “art” and start asking ourselves “is this how we want to be remembered?”
The Gotthard Base Tunnel was a major engineering project to link Northern to Southern Europe for high speed rail and rail freight traffic. The tunnel is currently the longest railroad tunnel in the world and had been under construction for 16 years. In other words a significant project of global implications. So how did they celebrate the opening. Well I will let the videos speak from themselves.
This YouTube comment from the first video sums It up for me:
There is a point where what is called art reminds me of the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Peer pressure prevents everyone from stating the obvious stupidity of what the masses are enduring and embracing for sake of ego. Had one of my family members been one of the ones killed in the course of making this tunnel, I would have been livid that their memory was made such a joke of by this absolute insanity, No – its not art. It is metaphor that goes to the extent of mockery of common sense. True art lasts through the ages. Modern concepts of art like this ridiculous garbage will be,, and soon are forgotten except for people making fun of them, criticizing them, and sadly laughing at the minds of those who think they are contributing something useful to mankind. I feel sorry for the families of the 5 workers who died. The remembrance of their dead loved ones was mocked by an insanely bizarre display (and people duped into working hard to perform it) of someone who’s only weak defense will be to say that people willing to identify it for the trash it was don’t “understand” art. Yes, we understand art. The Emperor’s new clothes don’t exist except in the minds of those egotistical enough to ridicule others for not being able to see what is not there, has absolutely no substance, wastes the time and efforts of others, and in the end makes a fool of everyone who thought they saw the clothes. And if you want some fact for this… how many times do we see people debating on youtube whether or not Shakespeare is Satanic? Is this really what the so called artist who designed this charade was seeking to honor the remembrance of those who gave their lives that this tunnel could be a reality? Congratulations artist – after a few years your trash will be forgotten (or remembered as sick). But for now satanism (which I also think is ridiculous) is,being associated with the tunnel. If you were an artist worthy of the title, your display would have made a lasting memory of how great an achievement this was historically and yet at the incalculable cost of five human lives – it would certainly have been a wonderful tribute then. I also say to those suckered enough to pay for this insane display… Get a backbone! Admit the king’s clothes don’t exist. You have had just as big a part in ridiculing the memory of the deceased as the mind that dreamed up this mockery.
This should have been a day that celebrated the achievement that many people had spent a significant portion of their lives on and indeed five people made the ultimate sacrifice. The opening ceremonies should have been a celebration of the great achievement. Like the Golden Spike Ceremony in 1869 this should have been a celebration of joining parts of the world by men of iron and steel.
Instead is was a bizarre dance and celebration of some sort of pseudo paganistic ritual. This didn’t celebrate the achievement, it insulted it. It took everything that had been achieved to build the tunnel and said it didn’t matter. I can, in the end think of no greater insult.