Monday, 7 January 2013

Rubber ducky, you're the one

giant rubber duck recently sailed into Darling Harbour in Sydney. Rubber Duck, by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman was floated as a part of the Sydney Festival and is staying a month.

Rubber Duck has already made appearances around the world, including around Europe, in Japan, and New Zealand. Different sized ducks, ranging in size from 5 to over 20 metres high have been used in the different locations. The artist statement says:
The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn't discriminate people and doesn't have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages!

If the number of photos of the thing on the internet are anything to go by, it has attracted a lot more attention than your average art installation. I couldn't help but think that it's the kind of public art that the restauranteurs in Melbourne's Docklands really need. Gimmicky? Perhaps. But it is quirky and cute enough to draw a crowd, and it has a lot more cultural credibility than yet another round of fireworks (yawn).

Docklands is full of public art, but it doesn't create quite the same buzz or sense of occasion that a limited-time-only, come-and-see-it-or-you'll-miss-out event does. Compared to say Federation Square, which almost always has at least one quirky short-term installation in place. A whimsical building made of willow, last time I looked.