Heather & Ivan Morison
One Day Sculpture - Journée des barricades
Wellington, New Zealand, 14 December 2008.
Commissioned by Litmus Research Initiative, Massey University for One Day Sculpture. Photos: Stephen Rowe
Morison Journee des barricades. One Day Sculpture Wellington, New Zealand
Journée des barricades 2008
mixed media

Car wrecks, discarded furniture and other urban detritus barricaded a central city street in Wellington, New Zealand on Sunday 14th December 2008.

The temporary public artwork entitled Journée des barricades acts as a rupture in the everyday comings and goings of the city. In its barricade form, the sculpture might suggest associations with the history of political actions and social unrest, but as a collection of discarded consumer products it may also bring to mind questions about our environmental and economic future. This new commission is the latest in the Morisons' ongoing investigation into future catastrophic scenarios and their social implications.

Known for their stunning 2006 installation of a jack-knifed lorry which had spread its load of 25,000 flowers across Bristol's city centre, the capacity of their work to evoke darker concerns about our future has recently become more explicit. Tales of Space and Time (2008), commissioned for the Folkestone Triennial, for example, was an ex-military Green Goddess fire engine converted into a survivalist house truck which was equipped with a comprehensive library of apocalyptic and post apocalyptic fiction. The Morisons' work challenges people to look squarely into the future and prepare themselves for what might be coming. It proposes a shift in thinking from the popular environmentalist view that we must preserve the status quo to the survivalist approach of preparing for an unstoppable and inevitable change.

In stark contrast to the sculpture's grandiosity is its temporality - installed overnight between dusk Saturday and dawn Sunday, the work was in situ for just 24 hours before 'disappearing' overnight, returning Stout Street back to normal for the Monday morning rush-hour.

Journée des barricades is commissioned by Litmus Research Initiative, Massey University. Major funding support from the British Council, Wellington City Council Public Art Fund, University of the West of England, Massey University Foundation and Massey University College of Creative Arts. Also generously supported by Loadlift Equipment Ltd, Mega Wreckers Ltd, Transpacific AllBright Ltd and PSIS Limited.

The commissioners wish to thank Wellington City Council for all their assistance, especially Martin Rodgers, City Arts; Kevin O'Keeffe, Drainage & Water; Tony Tupaea Landfill Operations Manager; Peter Dodge, Transport Asset Performance, Infrastructure Group; Rob Tierney, Building Consents & Licensing Services.

Morison Journee des barricades installation Morison Journee des baricades One day sculpture Wellington NZ