24 August 2004

clockmaking as cultural commentary

Have you ever looked up in the Queen Victoria Building? There are two clocks suspended from the ceiling and from underneath they just look like blobs of Edwardian kitsch. Go up to the first floor and their true nature is revealed. One clock is shaped like a castle, which is pretty boring. The other has 6 sides each featuring a colonial diorama, eg convicts and the lash, settlers, explorers etc. And circling around the dioramas, on a never ending loop, is a bewildered looking Aboriginal warrior. With spear. Stuck far away from the wealth of the squatter and his sheep, the tasty bread, the barrels of rum, condemned forever to circle in view but never get close enough to be dangerous.

Maybe it's just cos I have a lot of time on my hands these days, but I think there's an unintended metaphor in that clock.

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