City The Seattle You Know Will Be Assassinated
posted by May 25 at 9:52 AMon
… this Monday, at 111 Pike Street, at high noon, by a small statue. From the press release:
8-ft. kinetic statue of coffee-drinker to be unveiled at café grand opening… the new Coffee Drinking Man statue playfully refers to Jonathan Borofsky’s 48-foot tall Hammering Man sculpture.
Um, how exactly? Sebastian Simsch, co-founder of Seattle Coffee Works, explains:
Despite its large size, the statue is cute, in a boy-next-door sort of way…
Wrong, Sebastian. Coffee Drinking Man isn’t a playful reference, it’s a mocking opposite, a kick in the dick—Hammering Man is a minimalist pop monument. Coffee Drinking Man is simpering kitschy toy.
Here are the last two sentences of Mr. Borofsky’s artist’s statement:
At its heart, society reveres the worker. The Hammering Man is the worker in all of us.
If that was ever true, Joe, it ain’t so now. Society doesn’t revere the laborer, it reveres the layabout, the lounger. So says Seattle Coffee Works:
“Coffee Drinking Man encourages people to savor the fruits of their labor and enjoy their leisure time.”
The gap between the reference and the referent has grown too wide—this parody doesn’t even understand it’s a parody.
On Monday, Coffee Drinking Man will symbolically kill Hammering Man and the city will cease to recognize itself. There will be nothing left to be precious about, nothing left to feel nostalgic for or preserve.
Seattle will be senile.