Artist hopes to float giant banana over Texas
Published Wednesday, January 10, 2007 11:04PM EST
A Montreal artist wants to construct an enormous banana that would float over Texas, but critics say the project isn't worth government funding.
Cesar Saez conceived the project, called "Geostationary Banana Over Texas," and prefers to let the art speak for itself.
When asked why he would want a helium-inflated 300-metre banana to hover above Texas for a month, he simply told CTV Montreal: "Texas is as symbolic as the banana."
Then he added: "The banana has a lot of symbolism: phallic, humour, and political, too."
But some people were less than amused by the idea, considering both the federal and Quebec governments have already spent thousands of dollars for Saez's research and planning.
"I'm paying $65,000 to send a banana to space?" one woman balked.
Another said the money should have been spent on solving Montreal's homelessness problem instead.
The Canada Council for the Arts has defended the project, arguing Saez is an established artist and his proposal was chosen by a jury of his peers.
"The project was eligible and went to a committee, and the committee felt that the project had merit according to the criteria of the programme," said the council's Claude Schryer.
Beatrice Pepper, of the Quebec Council for Arts and Letters, said the attention focused on "Geostationary Banana Over Texas" can only benefit Quebec culture, because most contemporary artists are ignored.
"It's a big, big, big day today for visual arts in Quebec," she said.
"For probably one of the first times, a piece of visual art is getting the attention that it never gets from the media."
The project will likely require a total of $1 million before Texans see the giant banana sailing above their heads.
With a report by CTV Montreal's Caroline Van Vlaardingen